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Friday, 28 February 2014
Brian Lara dating former Miss Scotland Jamey Bowers

Brian Lara dating former Miss Scotland Jamey Bowers

West Indies cricket legend Brian Lara is reportedly dating former Miss Scotland Jamey Bowers.
The batting great was introduced to Bowers, who is 20 years his junior, by former Manchester United and Trinidad and Tobago striker Dwight Yorke.
"It's early days. I didn't want anyone to know, but Brian's been declaring his love all over the place," the Daily Mail quoted Bowers as saying in the Edinburgh News.
"He's charming, romantic and fun. We'll see what happens."
Lara, 44, is considered one of the greatest batsmen of all time.
He holds several cricketing records, including the highest individual score in first-class cricket, with 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston in 1994.
Lara also has the record for the highest individual score in Tests, scoring 400 not out against England at
India vs Sri Lanka LIVE SCORE: Asia Cup, Match 4

India vs Sri Lanka LIVE SCORE: Asia Cup, Match 4


ted to field first against Team India
Click here to Enlarge
 Welcome to the LIVE coverage of the Match 4 between India and Sri Lanka from the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah.Scorecard
Sri Lanka achieved the total of 264 runs at the loss of eight wickets against Team India. An absolute cracker of a game today. Both the teams had almost equal opportunities to clinch this one. But, Team India somehow lost the plot right at the end under the leadership of young and inexperienced skipper Virat Kohli. Sri Lanka came out on top courtesy their experinced batting lineup and most importantly the run-machine Kumar Sangakkara. The southpaw notched up his 18th ODI hundred while anchoring the innings right till the end for his team. The Lankans thrived with the solid start from Kusal Perera - who notched up his well deserved fifty. Virat Kohli will be gutted with his team especially after coming close enough to seal an all-important win. The spinners worked the magic for Team India but the bowlers missed the trick right at the end when it mattered the most. As one would feel, another 20-odd runs would have surely changed the game for India. Today's win has taken Sri Lanka to the top of the table with eight points from two matches. Team India are now placed one point behind arch-rivals Pakistan at the third spot which will make their Sunday's clash all the more important.


Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Asia Cup 2014 full schedule

Asia Cup 2014 full schedule

New Delhi: Asia Cup 2014 which will be hosted by Bangladesh begins in the month of February. The first match will be played between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on 25th February at Fatullah.



Here is the full Asia Cup Schedule:

Feb 25: Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Fatullah

Feb 26: Bangladesh v India at Fatullah

Feb 27: Afghanistan v Pakistan at Fatullah

Feb 28: India v Sri Lanka at Fatullah

Mar 1: Bangladesh v Afghanistan at Fatullah

Mar 2: India v Pakistan at Sher-e-Bangla, Mirpur

Mar 3: Afghanistan v Sri Lanka at Sher-e-Bangla

Mar 4: Bangladesh v Pakistan at Sher-e-Bangla

Mar 5: Afghanistan v India at Sher-e-Bangla

Mar 6: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Sher-e-Bangla

Mar 8: Final at Sher-e-Bangla.
Asia Cup 2014: India aim to retain 2nd spot in ICC rankings

Asia Cup 2014: India aim to retain 2nd spot in ICC rankings

India start their campaign in the Asia Cup, which commences Feb 25 in Dhaka, with an aim to retaining the number-two spot on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings at the April 1 cut-off date.
At number two, India will be the highest ranked side in the five-team tournament, with 115 ratings points, and will contest the tournament that also features fourth-ranked Sri Lanka, sixth-placed Pakistan, ninth-placed Bangladesh and unranked Afghanistan.
The side that finishes top of the ODI rankings table at the April 1 cut-off date will receive a shield and a cheque of $175,000, while the side that finishes second will receive $75,000.
India held the number-one rank from January 2013, but ceded the top position to Australia after losing the recent ODI series against New Zealand 0-4.
Australia are now assured of the number-one ranking on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings on the April 1 cut-off date, with 117 ratings points, and will receive the ODI Shield as well as the cheque of $175,000.
Even if India were to win all their matches in the Asia Cup, including the final, they would gain only two ratings points to move to 117, on par with Australia. But when ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point, Michael Clarke's side will be ranked higher.
Therefore, India can at best hope to retain the number-two position at the end of the Asia Cup, but their position will be challenged by fourth-ranked Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka rounded off a three-match series against hosts Bangladesh with a six wickets win Saturday to win the series 3-0.
The clean sweep helped Sri Lanka gain one ratings point to move to 109, on par with England, but when ratings were calculated beyond the decimal point, Angelo Mathews' men were able to move ahead into fourth place.
Sri Lanka can now hope to move ahead of India on the rankings table if they win all their matches in the Asia Cup, including the final. In such a scenario, Sri Lanka will gain three ratings points to finish on 112, one ratings point ahead of India and, therefore, move up two places to second.
But if India win even one of their matches during the tournament, they will hold onto the number-two position, in spite of losing up to three ratings points to finish on 112.


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Asia Cup: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka match preview

Pakistan are determined to defend their title but Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews remains optimistic as the two cricket giants face off in the opening match of the Asia Cup on Tuesday.
"We have played a lot against Pakistan and India. We know them and they also know us," Mathews said. "All the teams are even. They will want to win the matches. We also would like to win. Hopefully there will be a really good competition," he added.
For Tuesday's opening match at Fatullah, Sri Lanka have one thing in its favour, it played here a month ago against Bangladesh, winning two tests, three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20s.
"I think we need to show more good performance to go further. We beat Bangladesh 3-0, that doesn't mean that it would be easier for us to win the Asia Cup. It will be a tough tournament and there will be huge challenges," Mathews said.
Pakistan's skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said they are taking spirit from the series wins over Sri Lanka and South Africa, and will fight to defend the Asia Cup title. The team beat Bangladesh in the 2012 final.
"All teams have ability to win against any side. It will be good competition," Misbah said. While the team has several relatively inexperienced players including Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Talha, Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali, it also has Misbah himself and Mohammad Hafeez, who will play the key role in batting.
"Ahmed Shehzad has been part of our team for quite a while, he has been doing well,'' Misbah said. Pakistan and Lanka face off in opener "Sharjeel had an average series, but he gave glimpses of being a good player, he can time the ball well."
He has faith in Sohaib Maqsood too. "Maqsood played well in South Africa and against Sri Lanka. With experienced players, a few youngsters like Anwar Ali and Bilawal Bhatti, they are putting together some good scores."
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Asia Cup: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka match preview

Pakistan are determined to defend their title but Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews remains optimistic as the two cricket giants face off in the opening match of the Asia Cup on Tuesday.
"We have played a lot against Pakistan and India. We know them and they also know us," Mathews said. "All the teams are even. They will want to win the matches. We also would like to win. Hopefully there will be a really good competition," he added.
For Tuesday's opening match at Fatullah, Sri Lanka have one thing in its favour, it played here a month ago against Bangladesh, winning two tests, three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20s.
"I think we need to show more good performance to go further. We beat Bangladesh 3-0, that doesn't mean that it would be easier for us to win the Asia Cup. It will be a tough tournament and there will be huge challenges," Mathews said.
Pakistan's skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said they are taking spirit from the series wins over Sri Lanka and South Africa, and will fight to defend the Asia Cup title. The team beat Bangladesh in the 2012 final.
"All teams have ability to win against any side. It will be good competition," Misbah said. While the team has several relatively inexperienced players including Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Talha, Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali, it also has Misbah himself and Mohammad Hafeez, who will play the key role in batting.
"Ahmed Shehzad has been part of our team for quite a while, he has been doing well,'' Misbah said. Pakistan and Lanka face off in opener "Sharjeel had an average series, but he gave glimpses of being a good player, he can time the ball well."
He has faith in Sohaib Maqsood too. "Maqsood played well in South Africa and against Sri Lanka. With experienced players, a few youngsters like Anwar Ali and Bilawal Bhatti, they are putting together some good scores."
 (As carried by Mail Today)

Asia Cup Live Cricket Score 2014

Asia Cup Live Cricket Score 2014

02.26 (IST): OUT! Ravichandran Ashwin strikes first ball! Mominul Haque was clueless where the ball was going after he attempted a flick and ventured out of the crease. Dinesh Karthik was quick to dislodge the bails to send Mominul packing. Bangladesh 49/2 in 12.1 overs.

02.18 (IST): Mohammed Shami is off the field and receiving an ice-pack treatment on his knee. Seems like he hurt it while he collided with Rayudu while taking the catch to dismiss Shamsur.

02.16 (IST): A cautious start from Bangladesh so far. The Indian bowlers have given very little away so far. They've also managed to get their first breakthrough as Mohammed Shami dismissed Shamsur Rahman. Bangladesh 36/1 in 10 overs.

02.09 (IST): FACTOID: Bangladesh don't have a great record while defending a total against India in ODIs. They have successfully defended the total just once while losing 16 times.

02.07 (IST): Four! Mohammed Shami induces an edge of Mominul Haque's bat but there is no 1st slip. The ball runs away to the third man fence. Bangladesh 26/1 in 7.5 overs.


India start their Asia Cup campaign against Bangladesh in Fatullah. Catch all the updates here (Scorecard | Text Commentary | Asia Cup Schedule)

02.26 (IST): OUT! Ravichandran Ashwin strikes first ball! Mominul Haque was clueless where the ball was going after he attempted a flick and ventured out of the crease. Dinesh Karthik was quick to dislodge the bails to send Mominul packing. Bangladesh 49/2 in 12.1 overs.

02.18 (IST): Mohammed Shami is off the field and receiving an ice-pack treatment on his knee. Seems like he hurt it while he collided with Rayudu while taking the catch to dismiss Shamsur.

02.16 (IST): A cautious start from Bangladesh so far. The Indian bowlers have given very little away so far. They've also managed to get their first breakthrough as Mohammed Shami dismissed Shamsur Rahman. Bangladesh 36/1 in 10 overs.

02.09 (IST): FACTOID: Bangladesh don't have a great record while defending a total against India in ODIs. They have successfully defended the total just once while losing 16 times.

02.07 (IST): Four! Mohammed Shami induces an edge of Mominul Haque's bat but there is no 1st slip. The ball runs away to the third man fence. Bangladesh 26/1 in 7.5 overs.


01.56 (IST): First breakthrough for India! Mohammed Shami gets rid of Shamsur Rahman! A leading edge ballooned off Shamsur's bat and Shami took the catch, despite a collision with fielder Ambati Rayudu. Bangladesh 16/1 in 5.1 overs.

01.53 (IST): Maiden over from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He continues to rely on line and length and has nothing to give away. Nine runs have come off the three overs he has bowled so far. Bangladesh 16/0 in 5 overs.

01.43 (IST): Bangladesh have happy memories at Fatullah. In November 2013, they chased down New Zealand's daunting total of 308 to win the game. That day it was Shamsur Rahman and Naeem Islam who orchestrated the chase. Today, however, they have the tougher task of setting a good total for a side that has the reputation of chasing down big scores in the Sub-conitinent.

01.41 (IST): FOUR! A finely played cover drive from Shamshur Rahman there! He gets behind the Shami delivery and hits it through covers to pick up four runs. That will do his confidence a world of good. Bangladesh 8/0 in 1.2 overs.

01.32 (IST): Bhuvneshwar Kumar starts the proceedings for India. He induces an outside edge off Anamul Haque's bat that goes between first and second slip and runs away to the third man fence. Those are the only runs of the over. Bangladesh 4/0 in 1 over.

01.17 (IST): Bangladesh XI: Shamshur Rahman, Anamul Haque, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Nasir Hossain, Naeem Islam, Ziaur Rahman, Sohag Gazi, Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain

01.16 (IST): Indian XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron

01.11 (IST): FACTOID: With 971 runs at a striking average of 51.10, Sachin Tendulkar is the highest scorer for India in the Asia Cup. He is also second -- behind Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya -- in the list of all-time top-scorers of the tournament.
01.05 (IST): Indian skipper Virat Kohli wins toss, elects to field against Bangladesh . He says he watched the game between Pakistan and Sri Lanka and feels the wicket will ease out in the second innings. The big news is the Cheteshwar Pujara continues to be on the bench.

12.54 (IST): Bangladesh begin their campaign without Shakib-al-Hasan who will miss the first two games due to a suspension.

12.40 (IST): India start afresh after back-to-back losses in South Africa and New Zealand. The familiar conditions make them strong favourites but hosts Bangladesh have the knack of being a thorn in India's flesh. In the last edition in 2012, Sachin Tendulkar scored a century, his 100th in international cricket, but Bangladesh chased down the total and even beat Sri Lanka to reach the finals.




Monday, 24 February 2014
MS Dhoni: The Indian captain is no longer cool

MS Dhoni: The Indian captain is no longer cool



What went wrong with the Indian cricket team on their just concluded tour to New Zealand? A ritualistic post-mortem has greeted the team when it returned home.
It has to, as usual, start at the top. Should Dhoni continue as captain after his team's string of defeats overseas in the last couple of years? Does he deserve a place in the Test eleven as a wicketkeeper-batsman? Above all, have India the stomach to fight it out overseas?
The jury is still out. Some former captains want Dhoni to stay because the World Cup is barely a year away and he deserves to defend the Cup he won for India after 28 years. Some others want him to go from the Test side to start with, suddenly finding him too defensive after hailing him as an imaginative and innovative leader not very long ago!
The lone former India captain who was a witness to the happenings in the series from the ringside seat as a commentator takes a charitable view, saying the captain is only as good as his team even as he took potshots at India's super-power status in world cricket. Sunil Gavaskar should know, having been part of the musical chairs in his playing days with Kapil Dev.
The "remove captain" campaign is a sickeningly old pastime. Before the advent of the 24X7 television channels and their TRPs, some of the broadsheet newspapers took on the role of tabloids by going to town with polls for getting the captain sacked after a couple of disastrous tours overseas.
Those were the days when an overseas defeat was not deemed serious enough to dump a captain. In the last decade or so, the Indian cricket fan has started believing that the team can win overseas, more so in the 21st century, though India won a Test in Australia way back in 1980-81 and rain deprived them a series-win the next time they were down under in 1985-86. Of course, they narrowly lost to Kerry-Packer-hit Australia 2-3 in the 1977-78 series.
Nowadays the decision to appoint or remove a captain is no longer in the hands of the paid national selectors and they don't complain too much either if their decision is overturned unless the selector happens to be a Mohinder Amarnath, who paid with his job for asking for Dhoni's head a year ago.
There was a time the board had more than one selector who happened to be a powerful cricket administrator. Unlike in the days of gentlemen cricketer-administrators like Ghulam Ahmed, who could be trusted with any role, today the selectors are on the board's roster on a fat salary. They constantly keep looking over their shoulders to check whether their acts are likely to annoy the powerful board bosses.
Captains and coaches in the last two decades have been removed at the specific request or complaints of the 'khalifas' in the team. Even Kapil Dev and Sandip Patil could not escape the wrath of the senior players when they were coaches. Gavaskar was smart enough not to accept the role after briefly holding the baby in Sharjah when Ajit Wadekar had a sudden health problem.
Then came a phase when the players helplessly watched captains gain enormous powers with the backing of powerful board officials.
There was that comic story of a tobacco-chewing national selector apparently going out of the meeting for a spit, but actually stepping out to call the board chief to alert him that his colleagues had decided to dump the captain. By the time he returned to the meeting the chairman had changed his mind after getting a call from the chief!
There was a time when fringe players sought transfers to the state association presided over by a powerful board official and some of them did get a national call.
The scene is more or less the same now, except this time the state association is different. Today a player need not play for the state, it is enough if he is a member of the Indian Premier League(IPL) side led by the national captain to find a place in the India squad.
The Indian captain is not only the captain of the IPL side, but he is also a top executive of the company that owns it. What chance do the selectors have to even suggest that he be replaced?
Dhoni himself has somewhat defused the situation by pulling out of the Asia Cup with a side strain. With nine more overseas Tests coming up in England and Australia, he himself might take a call sooner than later. He had already dropped hints last year that he may not play in all three formats for long.
Interestingly, the reactions to India's showing in the antipodes, too, are predictable. All those who are opposed to India hijacking the International Cricket Council(ICC) in the name of reforms are drawing vicarious delight in seeing India lose the records-filled two-Test series 0-1.
There has been widespread media criticism in New Zealand, as in some other parts of the world, of the manner in which India, in the company of England and Australia, sought to ride roughshod over poorer boards and dubbed its administrators "arrogant jerks".
While Cricket New Zealand counted its dollars under the new dispensation, their cricketers showed they are well worth the megabucks on cricketing merit.
Cricket New Zealand stands to benefit to the tune of $70-100 million from the ICC revenues as against $2 million now! Others are also seeing virtues in falling in line. That's cricket!


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India U-19 skipper Vijay Zol suspended for using foul language

Defending champion India crashed out of the Under-19 World Cup cricket tournament after a three-wicket defeat to England in the quarterfinals here on Saturday.
In the other quarterfinal, Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 121 runs.
Batting first, India managed 221 for eight, and then saw England chase down the target with five balls to spare.
Deepak Hooda(68) and Sarfaraz Khan(52 off 46 balls) helped India post a decent total. But England rode on Ben Duckett's 64-ball 61 and Joe Clarke's 42 off 45 balls.
Needing four off the last over, Rob Sayer slashed left-arm seamer Chama Milind over covers to finish the job. However, it was the penultimate over from off-spinner Hooda, which cost India dear as he conceded 11 runs to bring the equation down to a gettable four off six balls

Fisher shines

Earlier, seamer Matthew Fisher was the most successful bowler for England, picking up three wickets for 55 runs.
The 51-run seventh-wicket stand between Clarke and Rob Jones proved crucial.
Opting to bat, India was off to a disastrous start losing four wickets for just 24 runs, including last match's top-scorer Sanju Vishwanadh.
Hooda tried to stabilise the innings and played carefully along with skipper Vijay Zol.
Zol found the fence thrice before falling to off-spinner Robert Sayer in the 33rd over.
Hooda carried on for a while before Jonathan Tattersall ran him out at the end of 40th over (147 for six).
India needed to accelerate at this stage, and Sarfaraz obliged.
Scores:
Quarterfinal 1: India Under-19 221 for eight in 50 overs (Deepak Hooda 68, Sarfaraz Khan 52, Vijay Zol 48, Matt Fisher three for 55) lost to England U-19 222 for seven in 49.1 overs (Ben Duckett 61, Joe Clarke 42, Kuldeep Yadav three for 46).

Quarterfinal 2: Pakistan Under-19 279 for nine in 50 overs (Sami Aslam 95, Imam-ul-Haq 82, Kamran Ghulam 52, Binura Fernando four for 56) bt Sri Lanka Under-19: 158 in 42.3 overs (S. Samarawickrama 51, Priyamal Perera 68).
India U-19 skipper Vijay Zol suspended for using foul language

India U-19 skipper Vijay Zol suspended for using foul language



India's Under-19 captain Vijay Zol has been suspended for one match, while off-spinner Aamir Gani has been reprimanded after being found guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup quarter-final match against England.
Zol was found to have breached Article 2.2.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to "using language or gesture(s) that is seriously obscene, seriously offensive or of a seriously insulting nature to another Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee or any other third person during an International Match".
While Gani was found to have breached Article 2.1.4 of the Code, which relates to "using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an International Match".
Graeme La Brooy of the ICC Regional Referees Panel imposed the sanctions after both the players pleaded guilty to the offences and accepted the proposed sanctions.
One suspension point in the code equates to a suspension from the next match in which the player is most likely to participate in. As such, Zol will miss Monday's play-off match against Sri Lanka at ICC Academy 1.
The incident involving Zol happened in the 30th over when the captain caught England's Ben Duckett at short mid-wicket off Kuldeep Yadav and then used seriously offensive language at the batsman at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
In a separate incident, Gani used obscene language after having England's Ed Barnard caught by Sanju Samson in the 26th over. Both the incidents were captured on television.
The charges were laid by on-field umpires Ranmore Martinesz and Chris Gaffaney, as well as third umpire Simon Fry.
Asia Cup 2014: India aim to retain 2nd spot in ICC rankings

Asia Cup 2014: India aim to retain 2nd spot in ICC rankings



mosimage}India start their campaign in the Asia Cup, which commences Feb 25 in Dhaka, with an aim to retaining the number-two spot on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings at the April 1 cut-off date.
At number two, India will be the highest ranked side in the five-team tournament, with 115 ratings points, and will contest the tournament that also features fourth-ranked Sri Lanka, sixth-placed Pakistan, ninth-placed Bangladesh and unranked Afghanistan.
The side that finishes top of the ODI rankings table at the April 1 cut-off date will receive a shield and a cheque of $175,000, while the side that finishes second will receive $75,000.
India held the number-one rank from January 2013, but ceded the top position to Australia after losing the recent ODI series against New Zealand 0-4.
Australia are now assured of the number-one ranking on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings on the April 1 cut-off date, with 117 ratings points, and will receive the ODI Shield as well as the cheque of $175,000.
Even if India were to win all their matches in the Asia Cup, including the final, they would gain only two ratings points to move to 117, on par with Australia. But when ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point, Michael Clarke's side will be ranked higher.
Therefore, India can at best hope to retain the number-two position at the end of the Asia Cup, but their position will be challenged by fourth-ranked Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka rounded off a three-match series against hosts Bangladesh with a six wickets win Saturday to win the series 3-0.
The clean sweep helped Sri Lanka gain one ratings point to move to 109, on par with England, but when ratings were calculated beyond the decimal point, Angelo Mathews' men were able to move ahead into fourth place.
Sri Lanka can now hope to move ahead of India on the rankings table if they win all their matches in the Asia Cup, including the final. In such a scenario, Sri Lanka will gain three ratings points to finish on 112, one ratings point ahead of India and, therefore, move up two places to second.
But if India win even one of their matches during the tournament, they will hold onto the number-two position, in spite of losing up to three ratings points to finish on 112.
Asia Cup: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka match preview

Asia Cup: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka match preview

Pakistan are determined to defend their title but Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews remains optimistic as the two cricket giants face off in the opening match of the Asia Cup on Tuesday.
"We have played a lot against Pakistan and India. We know them and they also know us," Mathews said. "All the teams are even. They will want to win the matches. We also would like to win. Hopefully there will be a really good competition," he added.
For Tuesday's opening match at Fatullah, Sri Lanka have one thing in its favour, it played here a month ago against Bangladesh, winning two tests, three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20s.
"I think we need to show more good performance to go further. We beat Bangladesh 3-0, that doesn't mean that it would be easier for us to win the Asia Cup. It will be a tough tournament and there will be huge challenges," Mathews said.
Pakistan's skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said they are taking spirit from the series wins over Sri Lanka and South Africa, and will fight to defend the Asia Cup title. The team beat Bangladesh in the 2012 final.
"All teams have ability to win against any side. It will be good competition," Misbah said. While the team has several relatively inexperienced players including Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Talha, Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali, it also has Misbah himself and Mohammad Hafeez, who will play the key role in batting.
"Ahmed Shehzad has been part of our team for quite a while, he has been doing well,'' Misbah said. Pakistan and Lanka face off in opener "Sharjeel had an average series, but he gave glimpses of being a good player, he can time the ball well."
He has faith in Sohaib Maqsood too. "Maqsood played well in South Africa and against Sri Lanka. With experienced players, a few youngsters like Anwar Ali and Bilawal Bhatti, they are putting together some good scores



Kevin Pietersen sacked in England's best interests: Broad

Kevin Pietersen sacked in England's best interests: Broad

England's limited-overs captain Stuart Broad believes that controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen has been sacked from the national set-up 'keeping the team's best interests at heart'.
According to Sport 24, Pietersen was released from his contract by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), after England's crushing 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia, which also marked the end of Andy Flower's tenure as team director.
Although Broad supported Pietersen's move from the team, he still played down his involvement in the talks circulating around South Africa-born batsman's future in the team.
Broad said he was aware of the discussions regarding Pieterson at the end of the Australian tour, although he backed the decision, saying that it was made by the people who have England's best interests at heart.
Broad, who will captain the T20 world cup in Bangladesh, said that he has not captained Pietersen much, adding that although in 2012 the batsman did put in a few match winning performances but England has won many matches without Pieterson too.
Calling it the decision of the Board members, Broad wants to focus on their limited-over series in West Indies for now and put the Pietersen affair behind him.


Virat Kohli should replace Dhoni as Indian skipper: Chappell

Virat Kohli should replace Dhoni as Indian skipper: Chappell




Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell feels Virat Kohli should replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni as India's Test captain as the incumbent is defensive and lets the game "meander along like an absent-minded professor strolling in the park".
Writing in a column for 'ESPNCricinfo', Chappell argued for Kohli's elevation as soon as possible after India's shambolic recent tour of New Zealand in which the team failed to register a single win in any format.
"Dhoni is a brilliant captain in the shorter versions of the game, and a master at timing his run to the finishing line as a middle-order batsman. However, as a Test captain he's too reactive and has a tendency to let the game meander along, like an absent-minded professor strolling in the park," Chappell wrote.
"His conservatism allows the better players among opposition batsmen too much freedom and too many easy runs. Consequently, big partnerships, like the match-saving one by Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling, build too often," he said referring to the drawn second Test in New Zealand which India seemed like wining inside three days at one stage.
"Dhoni really should have been replaced as Test captain following India's disastrous tours of England and Australia in 2011-12, when his teams displayed little fight in losing eight matches on the trot."
Chappell said Dhoni seems to lack ideas when the team flounders.
"When a captain starts to hinder his team, he needs to be replaced. During that horror patch, Dhoni was unable to inspire his team and looked like a skipper just going through the motions. There's no doubt that a captain -- even the best of them -- can stay on too long, to the point where he loses his team," he explained.
"Dhoni did bounce back when he orchestrated a convincing whitewash of Australia at home. There's no question he's a better captain under familiar conditions. He's at his best with spinners operating regularly, whereas when conditions are more in tune with seamers he struggles."
"In fairness to the selectors, not replacing Dhoni following the disaster in Australia was understandable, as a number of senior players retired and the alternatives were few," Chappell said.
Chappell said Kohli has the aggression which is needed to fire up a team in trying circumstances.
"A suitable alternative is now available in Virat Kohli. He has leadership experience as captain of Indian youth teams and, more importantly, he's now the right age and has matured into a top-class batsman. Even more importantly, he has shown his mettle overseas by scoring runs in difficult arenas like the WACA and the Bullring," he said.
"This is the sort of inspiration India need to boost their overseas record. However, what they need even more is a proactive captain who can get the best out of his bowlers when playing in unfamiliar conditions," he added.
"Kohli is an aggressive batsman but that doesn't automatically mean he'll captain in the same manner. Ricky Ponting was an aggressive strokemaker nicknamed "Punter", but as captain he didn't take his gambling instincts on to the field."
Chappell said once given the job, Kohli will have to show a lot of courage in decision-making.
"Kohli needs to be brave as an India captain. Instead of placing defensive fields for Ishant Sharma's wayward deliveries he has to challenge him by deploying men designed to aid the bowler, as long as he maintains line and length. If Ishant can't oblige him, he has to find another bowler who can.
"While Dhoni's tendency to rely on batsmen making mistakes and getting themselves out works brilliantly in the shorter forms of the game, the ploy is often exposed as flawed when gritty opponents like McCullum mount a counterattack in Test matches," he said.
"Dhoni's latest injury may be fortuitous. It gives the selectors a chance to evaluate Kohli's leadership credentials in the one-day arena, and if he's successful, they should appoint him Test captain," he added.

India U-19 skipper Vijay Zol suspended for using foul language

India U-19 skipper Vijay Zol suspended for using foul language

India's Under-19 captain Vijay Zol has been suspended for one match, while off-spinner Aamir Gani has been reprimanded after being found guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup quarter-final match against England.
Zol was found to have breached Article 2.2.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to "using language or gesture(s) that is seriously obscene, seriously offensive or of a seriously insulting nature to another Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee or any other third person during an International Match".
While Gani was found to have breached Article 2.1.4 of the Code, which relates to "using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an International Match".
Graeme La Brooy of the ICC Regional Referees Panel imposed the sanctions after both the players pleaded guilty to the offences and accepted the proposed sanctions.
One suspension point in the code equates to a suspension from the next match in which the player is most likely to participate in. As such, Zol will miss Monday's play-off match against Sri Lanka at ICC Academy 1.
The incident involving Zol happened in the 30th over when the captain caught England's Ben Duckett at short mid-wicket off Kuldeep Yadav and then used seriously offensive language at the batsman at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
In a separate incident, Gani used obscene language after having England's Ed Barnard caught by Sanju Samson in the 26th over. Both the incidents were captured on television.
The charges were laid by on-field umpires Ranmore Martinesz and Chris Gaffaney, as well as third umpire Simon Fry.

BCCI to review away performances

BCCI to review away performances

The top brass of the BCCI is likely to meet MS Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher to discuss India's overseas performances which have been consistently on the decline in the last three years. It is understood that the BCCI is concerned, but is not at all thinking about replacing the pair whose positions have come under the scanner once again after the 1-0 Test defeat in New Zealand.
"We want to take stock of the situation," a BCCI insider told ESPNcricinfo. "We want to know what is going wrong. We would like to know from them what is required to improve." According to this official, despite the public criticism of the roles of Dhoni and Fletcher in the past week, the BCCI still retained the confidence in the combination which started work formally from India's tour of England in 2011.
Since then India have lost every overseas tour. India suffered 4-0 whitewashes in England followed by Australia, lost 1-0 to South Africa last December and the series against New Zealand by a similar margin recently. Fletcher's overseas record says 10 defeats in 15 matches while Dhoni has lost nine out of the 14 Tests he has led India in overseas, since Fletcher's appointment.
Fletcher's contract is up for renewal from April 1 and there has been speculation in sections of media about his future. A media report on Friday suggested the BCCI had contacted former England coach Andy Flower. However, the BCCI official denied the report and called it mere speculation.
The overseas defeats have triggered a wide-ranging debate including some scathing remarks from two recent former India captains: Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.  "Our reputation has been tarnished, but Dhoni needs help," Ganguly told TV channel Headlines Today. "I don't know what Duncan Fletcher is doing. The approach needs to be right, and Fletcher needs to help Dhoni. He has clearly struggled and he needs to be more involved. He needs to plan better and the selectors have to assess and get the right squad."
Joe Dawes, India's bowling coach, was also pulled up by Ganguly who felt that the Queenslander's working style was not entirely convincing. "I saw Allan Donald in South Africa, walking around the boundary line, talking to his bowlers. But I don't see Joe Dawes doing that."
If Ganguly was severe on the coaches, Dravid felt Dhoni had grown defensive in his approach abroad. "I think he's got to realise this very quickly, that if he wants to win Test matches abroad, he's got to risk it all," Dravidtold ESPNcricinfo reviewing the New Zealand Test series. "He's got to take that chance that he's going to have to lose some Test matches. The only way you can win abroad is to take a few risks, take a few gambles.
MS Dhoni: The Indian captain is no longer cool

MS Dhoni: The Indian captain is no longer cool

What went wrong with the Indian cricket team on their just concluded tour to New Zealand? A ritualistic post-mortem has greeted the team when it returned home.
It has to, as usual, start at the top. Should Dhoni continue as captain after his team's string of defeats overseas in the last couple of years? Does he deserve a place in the Test eleven as a wicketkeeper-batsman? Above all, have India the stomach to fight it out overseas?
The jury is still out. Some former captains want Dhoni to stay because the World Cup is barely a year away and he deserves to defend the Cup he won for India after 28 years. Some others want him to go from the Test side to start with, suddenly finding him too defensive after hailing him as an imaginative and innovative leader not very long ago!
The lone former India captain who was a witness to the happenings in the series from the ringside seat as a commentator takes a charitable view, saying the captain is only as good as his team even as he took potshots at India's super-power status in world cricket. Sunil Gavaskar should know, having been part of the musical chairs in his playing days with Kapil Dev.
The "remove captain" campaign is a sickeningly old pastime. Before the advent of the 24X7 television channels and their TRPs, some of the broadsheet newspapers took on the role of tabloids by going to town with polls for getting the captain sacked after a couple of disastrous tours overseas.
Those were the days when an overseas defeat was not deemed serious enough to dump a captain. In the last decade or so, the Indian cricket fan has started believing that the team can win overseas, more so in the 21st century, though India won a Test in Australia way back in 1980-81 and rain deprived them a series-win the next time they were down under in 1985-86. Of course, they narrowly lost to Kerry-Packer-hit Australia 2-3 in the 1977-78 series.
Nowadays the decision to appoint or remove a captain is no longer in the hands of the paid national selectors and they don't complain too much either if their decision is overturned unless the selector happens to be a Mohinder Amarnath, who paid with his job for asking for Dhoni's head a year ago.
There was a time the board had more than one selector who happened to be a powerful cricket administrator. Unlike in the days of gentlemen cricketer-administrators like Ghulam Ahmed, who could be trusted with any role, today the selectors are on the board's roster on a fat salary. They constantly keep looking over their shoulders to check whether their acts are likely to annoy the powerful board bosses.
Captains and coaches in the last two decades have been removed at the specific request or complaints of the 'khalifas' in the team. Even Kapil Dev and Sandip Patil could not escape the wrath of the senior players when they were coaches. Gavaskar was smart enough not to accept the role after briefly holding the baby in Sharjah when Ajit Wadekar had a sudden health problem.
Then came a phase when the players helplessly watched captains gain enormous powers with the backing of powerful board officials.
There was that comic story of a tobacco-chewing national selector apparently going out of the meeting for a spit, but actually stepping out to call the board chief to alert him that his colleagues had decided to dump the captain. By the time he returned to the meeting the chairman had changed his mind after getting a call from the chief!
There was a time when fringe players sought transfers to the state association presided over by a powerful board official and some of them did get a national call.
The scene is more or less the same now, except this time the state association is different. Today a player need not play for the state, it is enough if he is a member of the Indian Premier League(IPL) side led by the national captain to find a place in the India squad.
The Indian captain is not only the captain of the IPL side, but he is also a top executive of the company that owns it. What chance do the selectors have to even suggest that he be replaced?
Dhoni himself has somewhat defused the situation by pulling out of the Asia Cup with a side strain. With nine more overseas Tests coming up in England and Australia, he himself might take a call sooner than later. He had already dropped hints last year that he may not play in all three formats for long.
Interestingly, the reactions to India's showing in the antipodes, too, are predictable. All those who are opposed to India hijacking the International Cricket Council(ICC) in the name of reforms are drawing vicarious delight in seeing India lose the records-filled two-Test series 0-1.
There has been widespread media criticism in New Zealand, as in some other parts of the world, of the manner in which India, in the company of England and Australia, sought to ride roughshod over poorer boards and dubbed its administrators "arrogant jerks".
While Cricket New Zealand counted its dollars under the new dispensation, their cricketers showed they are well worth the megabucks on cricketing merit.
Cricket New Zealand stands to benefit to the tune of $70-100 million from the ICC revenues as against $2 million now! Others are also seeing virtues in falling in line. That's cricket!

Friday, 21 February 2014
AB de Villiers pips Sehwag, Gambhir to 12 consecutive Test fifties

AB de Villiers pips Sehwag, Gambhir to 12 consecutive Test fifties



South African batsman and ODI captain AB de Villiers has become the first player in the history of Test cricket to make a half-century in 12 consecutive Tests after he passed 50 in the first innings of the opening day of second Test against Australia at St George's Park on Thursday.
De Villiers is now the sole owner of a unique record for batting in Test cricket that has stood for almost four decades.
According to News.com.au, the wicketkeeper-batsman was on 51 not out at stumps on day one in Port Elizabeth, having reached the milestone with a boundary through the leg side off the part-time spin of Steve Smith.
De Villiers reportedly went ahead of the record that he previously shared with three other players- West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards and former India opening partners Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.
Although his teammates struggled to deal with Mitchell Johnson on a pace-friendly Centurion pitch during the first Test, de Villiers was completely unflustered and essentially got himself out in both innings of that match after making 91 in the first dig and 48 in the second, the report further said.
De Villiers' incredible streak stretches all the way back to December 2012 when the South African made a breathtaking 169 at the WACA Ground to help the Proteas clinch a series victory and since then he has passed 50 in every Test he has played, the report added.



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Dhoni's Test captaincy is obnoxious, says Sourav Ganguly

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Test captaincy is under fire and this time, from former India skipper Sourav Ganguly.
"His (Dhoni's) Test captaincy has been obnoxious. But changing captains now will unsettle the team. His place is not in doubt in Test cricket, but Dhoni needs to set the overseas record right," Ganguly told Headlines Today in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
"If the World Cup was not less than a year away, I would have agreed that Dhoni needed to be removed as captain," he said.
India suffered a fourth successive Test series defeat abroad after their 0-1 loss to New Zealand in the two-match rubber which ended on Tuesday.
India have now lost 10 of their last 12 Tests abroad -- the other two were drawn -- a record that included two successive 0-4 whitewashes in England and Australia.
Dhoni's reputation as India captain has been severely dented and his defensive tactics at crucial junctures first in South Africa and then in New Zealand have drawn flak from experts though he continued to harp on the "positives", PTI reported.
Overseas, Dhoni has captained India in 23 Tests, of which they have won five, lost 11 and drawn seven. At home, his record is much better - 21 wins, three defeats and six draws.
Another former captain Rahul Dravid agreed with the perception that Dhoni was a defensive captain, saying he needed to take risks if he wanted to win Test matches abroad.
"I think he (Dhoni) has got to realise this very quickly, that if he wants to win Test matches abroad, he's got to risk it all. He's got to take that chance that he's going to have to lose some Test matches. The only way you can win abroad is to take a few risks, take a few gambles," Dravid was quoted as saying by Cricinfo.


Shah Rukh Khan to share journey with KKR on TV show

Shah Rukh Khan to share journey with KKR on TV show

The Pakistan cricket team suffered an injury scare ahead of the Asia Cup when their flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi hurt his jaw during a practice match at the Gaddafi stadium.
"Although the injury is not a serious one but doctors have advised him to speak less for two days because the impact was on the jaw," national coach Moin Khan told reporters.
Afridi was hit near the jaw when trying to paddle sweep pacer Junaid Khan. The ball flew off the edge of the bat and hit his helmet's visor which struck the jaw. Afridi was seen walking around with a big bruise on the right side of his face.
The former captain is expected to be a key player in Pakistan's campaign in the Asia Cup to be held from February 25 and the World Twenty20 Championships from March 16 in Bangladesh.
The outspoken player had told reporters a day earlier that Pakistan stood a very strong chance of winning the two major events. "I am looking forward to these events as we have very good sides and I am keen to play a major role in them," Afridi said.



Shah Rukh Khan to share journey with KKR on TV show

Shah Rukh Khan to share journey with KKR on TV show

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, co-owner of Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the 2012 champions, Thursday said he is satisfied with the its performance and has no plans to sell it.
Shah Rukh will share his journey with KKR in "Living With KKR", a four-part TV series that airs on Discovery Channel Feb 24-27.
"We will never sell the team, it goes up and down with us. The players are like our children and now that we have won, we are all the more happy," SRK, who co-owns KKR with actress Juhi Chawla and her husband and businessman Jay Mehta, told reporters at the "Living With KKR" press conference.
The 48-year-old also clarified that he never lost his cool when his team lost matches.
"I don`t scold anyone. I speak to everyone politely. They haven`t lost the match purposely; even they are upset. You can`t scold a sportsman, you have to believe them," he said.
The TV series traces the emotional journey of the team from its disappointing first three years to its redemption as IPL champions in 2012. SRK confesses he was moved by the film.
"I felt like crying...I had tears in my eyes when I was watching it, so I had to wear my goggles. It`s a very emotional moment for me and I am overwhelmed," he said, adding that he will use the documentary as a motivational tool for his team.
"A documentary is being made because we won it (IPL title), so I would like to say go ahead and win if you don`t win nobody will make documentary (smiles). Wining does matter," he added.
Another highlight of the series is that it will bring forth the role played by co-owners Juhi and Jay.
SRK says that the colour of KKR`s jersey was changed from black to purple on Juhi`s behest and not because he was superstitious.
He said: "Juhi wanted it to be purple, but I am not superstitious at all. When you need someone to blame that is when you get into superstition. I will take the blame, not fall on superstition."

After cricket, Shah Rukh Khan to focus on football

After cricket, Shah Rukh Khan to focus on football



Actor-producer Shahrukh Khan, owner of Indian Premier League team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), now plans to lead a football team.
"I would love to lead a football team for Kolkata," Shah Rukh Khan told reporters Thursday at the press conference of "Living With KKR", a documentary about his IPL team.
He said that they are working on it and "it's a big desire, but we have limited resources."
"If we can manage it, we will do it. Football is certainly on cards," he added.
The actor has a huge following in the city. Shahrukh has publicly addressed his fans earlier saying, "Thank you for supporting the cricket team."



Thursday, 20 February 2014
MS Dhoni lauds India after Test series loss against Kiwis

MS Dhoni lauds India after Test series loss against Kiwis

Despite his team overwhelmingly crushed by New Zealand during the tour, India skipper Mahendra Singh on Tuesday put up a brave front, saying it was "quite a good performance" by his team in the Test matches.
It turned out to be a disastrous tour for India as they remained winless, losing the ODI series 0-4 and the Test series 0-1. The visitors ended the ignominious tour of New Zealand today by drawing the second and final Test here. "Overall, quite a good performance. We have been improving right from South Africa. We have shown that we are a side that`s very talented," said Dhoni at the post match presentation ceremony.
"We did well in the series, in this Test because we fought back pretty well ourselves. We bowled the right areas, which I think is very important on the flat wickets," he added. Having bundled out the Black Caps for 192 in the first innings and taken a 246-run lead, India looked like winning the second Test, as they reduced New Zealand to 94 for five in their second innings.
But Brendon McCullum (302) staged a remarkable fightback and together with BJ Watling shared a world record partnership of 352 runs for the sixth wicket to take the hosts to safety. "In the first Test our second innings was brilliant. And then we came here won the toss and bowled really well in the first innings. In the second innings also we got a good start till Brendon and Watling came in. I don`t think it was bad bowling but it is just that they kept the good deliveries out," the Indian skipper explained.
"Appreciate what Brendon and Watling did, soak up the pressure when we were bowling well and score freely once the bowlers tired," he said.
Dhoni was also all praise for his bowlers. "We had to field for two, two and a half days and I must appreciate the way the bowlers took the challenge. Even when the third new ball was taken, they ran in hard and looked for wickets. They were willing to go on. I think they did whatever they could. At the end of the day we will accept the result."
Asked to sum up the tour and Dhoni said he was disappointed with the team`s performance in the One-dayers. "We are quite disappointed with the ODIs because we were in a position to capitalise but we couldn`t. The Test series, we knew it would be slightly tough because there are not many players who have played more than five, six or seven Tests, which means it is always a good exposure for all of them. But I think we did well, especially the bowling department.
"Quite a few people wondered if we could take 20 wickets, especially with the spinner not getting too many wickets. But we showed that in the first Test and even in the first innings here. We have been improving, the pace at which it is happening we can be a much better side," he said.
The Indian captain said he was looking forward to coming back to New Zealand for the World Cup next year, which will be jointly hosted by Australia. "It`s a fantastic country, the atmosphere was very good. Wickets in the ODIs were on the flatter side, good bounce, small outfield, so it`s entertaining for the fans. They appreciate good cricket, enjoy the opposition`s success too. Overall, a fantastic venue to play cricket and enjoy cricket. A bit tough at time but that`s what international cricket is all about.
"I always loved New Zealand and we are looking forward to coming here next year for the World Cup," said Dhoni.
"To witness Brendon's innings was fantastic and the way the crowd appreciated his effort, it was good to watch...Not as an opposition captain but as a cricket fan," he added. Meanwhile, New Zealand skipper McCullum, who became the first Kiwi batsman to hit a triple-century and stage an incredible turnaround to clinch the two-match series against India, said he was embarrassed to overtake Martin Crowe.
"It was very satisfying, very respectful of all the guys I got past. Almost embarrassed to go past Martin Crowe. It is incredibly humbling to get my name there and score the first triple. Thanks to all those who supported me through it all, especially the boys. It's been very special," said McCullum, who bagged the man-of-the-match award.
McCullum passed the previous New Zealand record innings of 299, set by Crowe 23 years ago. Applauding his team, McCullum said, "It means a lot to us, we talked the other night when we found ourselves in a precarious situation. But we didn't want to end such a good summer on a sour note.
"We knew we had some scrappers and the whole team did not want to let the opportunity go by. Real test of where we are as a team and the development we've showed has been very pleasing to us and to the fans. There is still got plenty of work to do but we are getting there."
He said it was satisfying to win series against quality opponents like India.
"To come back from being under so much pressure against some tight bowling. We are going to enjoy this moment. Test series wins don't come around too often especially against good teams," stressed McCullum. Singling out players for special praise, McCullum said, " The emergence of Corey (Anderson) and (Jimmy) Neesham, they've been a revelation and Rosco (Ross Taylor) and Kane (Williamson) with the bat. I can't talk highly enough of the energies the bowlers have put in over the last two summers.
"In our own conditions we're a pretty strong team and will be looking to improve. The crowds have been brilliant. We haven't often been the most consistent team, but this one is for you," he concluded.

Dhoni's Test captaincy is obnoxious, says Sourav Ganguly

Dhoni's Test captaincy is obnoxious, says Sourav Ganguly

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Test captaincy is under fire and this time, from former India skipper Sourav Ganguly.
"His (Dhoni's) Test captaincy has been obnoxious. But changing captains now will unsettle the team. His place is not in doubt in Test cricket, but Dhoni needs to set the overseas record right," Ganguly told Headlines Today in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
"If the World Cup was not less than a year away, I would have agreed that Dhoni needed to be removed as captain," he said.
India suffered a fourth successive Test series defeat abroad after their 0-1 loss to New Zealand in the two-match rubber which ended on Tuesday.
India have now lost 10 of their last 12 Tests abroad -- the other two were drawn -- a record that included two successive 0-4 whitewashes in England and Australia.
Dhoni's reputation as India captain has been severely dented and his defensive tactics at crucial junctures first in South Africa and then in New Zealand have drawn flak from experts though he continued to harp on the "positives", PTI reported.
Overseas, Dhoni has captained India in 23 Tests, of which they have won five, lost 11 and drawn seven. At home, his record is much better - 21 wins, three defeats and six draws.
Another former captain Rahul Dravid agreed with the perception that Dhoni was a defensive captain, saying he needed to take risks if he wanted to win Test matches abroad.
"I think he (Dhoni) has got to realise this very quickly, that if he wants to win Test matches abroad, he's got to risk it all. He's got to take that chance that he's going to have to lose some Test matches. The only way you can win abroad is to take a few risks, take a few gambles," Dravid was quoted as saying by Cricinfo.


Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Sachin, Viru nominated for 'Cricketer of the Generation' award

Sachin, Viru nominated for 'Cricketer of the Generation' award

Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar and Virendra Sehwag will be amongst the nominees for the 'ESPNcricinfo@20 Cricketer of the Generation' award, with the cricket news website announcing two more categories to its seventh annual awards.
The two new special awards - Cricketer of the Generation and Contribution to Cricket will add to the six categories announced earlier.
Besides Tendulkar and Warne, West Indian Brian Lara, Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka, Australia's Shane Warne and South African Jacques Kallis will also be in fray.
As the closing element of ESPNcricinfo's 20th anniversary celebrations, a 50-member jury of current and former cricketers and leading sportswriters will pick the finest player of the last 20 years to honour with this award.
The winner will also be presented with a Renault automobile.
The website last month announced nominees for the annual ESPNcricinfo Awards, sponsored by Renault, which recognise the best cricket performances in 2013.
The winner of the 'Contribution to Cricket' award will be nominated by former Indian captain Rahul Dravid. This award will consider contributions from all over the cricket ecosystem, from groundsmen to pitch curators, umpires to grassroots organisers, or just about anyone who has made a positive impact on the game.
"The Contribution to Cricket award was conceived to reward values that are pivotal to the sport - hard work, commitment, selflessness, fair play, and a dedication to the game. These are attributes embodied by many people across many aspects of the sport who are rarely - if ever - given credit for the amount they contribute to this great game," said Dravid.

Team India retain second spot in ICC Test team

Team India retain second spot in ICC Test team

India have retained their second position in the ICC Test team rankings following a draw in the second and final Test on Tuesday against New Zealand, which won the series 1-0.
A two-Test series loss has resulted in India slipping from 117 ratings points to 112, which means that they are ahead of Australia by just one rating point.
The Aussies now have a great opportunity of finishing ahead of India on the table before the April 1 cut-off date.
Australia are currently leading South Africa 1-0 in the three-Test series, and they need minimum of a draw in the series to move ahead of India. But if South Africa bounce back and win the next two Tests, then they will not only retain their pre-series rating of 133 ratings points, but Australia will also remain behind India on 110 ratings points, thereby handing Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s side second position at cut-off date.
South Africa are already guaranteed the number-one position at cut-off date, and will retain the mace and will also collect a cheque of USD 450,000. The side that finishes second will pocket USD 350,000, while USD 250,000 will go to the third-ranked team.
Meanwhile, New Zealand have gained five ratings points following their win over India. They have joined the West Indies on 87 ratings points. However, they are ranked above the West Indies when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.