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Saturday,23-January-2021

International

ICC Awards of the Decade: Virat Kohli in fray for 5; five more Indians in race

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Virat-Kohli

Prolific India batsman Virat Kohli has been nominated in five categories for the first International Cricket Council (ICC) Awards of the Decade for his incredible run in the last 10 years.

Kohli, who leads Team India in all three formats, has been nominated for Male Cricketer of the Decade alongside Ravichandran Ashwin, Joe Root (England), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Steve Smith (Australia), AB de Villiers (South Africa), and Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka).

For Men’s ODI Player of the Decade, former India skipper MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma have found a place alongside Kohli, Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka), Mitchell Starc (Australia), de Villiers and Sangakkara.

Kohli and Rohit have also made a cut for the Men’s T20I Player of the Decade Award list, which includes Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Imran Tahir (South Africa), Aaron Finch (Australia), Malinga and Chris Gayle (West Indies).

Kohli has also been nominated in the Men’s Test Player of the Decade and ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade categories. Kohli had won the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ award in 2019 for stopping fans from booing Australia’s Steve Smith during the World Cup in England and Wales. Besides, Dhoni who had won the Spirit of Cricket Award in 2011, also finds a place for the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade.

Meanwhile, in women’s category, former Team India skipper Mithali Raj has been nominated for the Female Cricketer of the Decade and Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade awards. Veteran fast bowler Jhulan Goswami has also been nominated for the Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade Award.

“It is extremely challenging to shortlist any group of excellent players over an extended period. In making these choices we have tried to put context to performances, even as the different formats have evolved in pace and style in a 10-year period,” said former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop.

“Some of your favourite names may have missed out, but not gone without recognition. We hope that this is seen as an opportunity to discuss, celebrate and rejoice in the many great players who have entertained us on the field in the last decade,” he added.

List of nominations:

Men’s player of the decade: Virat Kohli (India) Ravichandran Ashwin (India), Joe Root (England), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Steve Smith (Australia), AB de Villiers (South Africa), and Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka).

Women’s ODI Player of the Decade: Meg Lanning (Australia), Ellyse Perry (Australia), Mithali Raj (India), Suzie Bates (New Zealand), Stafanie Taylor (West Indies) and Jhulan Goswami (India).

Women’s Player of the Decade: Ellyse Perry (Australia), Meg Lanning (Australia), Suzie Bates (New Zealand), Stafanie Taylor (West Indies), Mithali Raj (India), Sarah Taylor (England).

Men’s ODI Player of the Decade: Virat Kohli (India), Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka), Mitchell Starc (Australia), AB de Villiers, Rohit Sharma (India), MS Dhoni (India), and Kumara Sangakkara (Sri Lanka).

Men’s Test Player of the Decade: Virat Kohli (India), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Smith, James Anderson (England), Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka), and Yasir Shah (Pakistan).

Men’s T20I Player of the Decade: Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Virat Kohli (India), Imran Tahir (South Africa), Aaron Finch (Australia), Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka), Chris Gayle (West Indies), and Rohit Sharma (India).

ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade: Virat Kohli (India), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Brendon McCullum (New Zealand), Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan), MS Dhoni (India), Anya Shrubsole (England), Katherine Brunt (England), Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka), and Daniel Vettori (New Zealand).

ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade: Richie Berrington (Scotland), Peter Borren (Netherlands), Kyle Coetzer (Scotland), Paras Khadka (Nepal), Calum MacLeod (Scotland) and Assad Vala (PNG)

ICC Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade: Kathryn Bryce (Scotland), Sarah Bryce (Scotland), Natthakan Chantham (Thailand), Sterre Kalis (Netherlands), Chanida Sutthiruang (Thailand) and Sornnorin Tippoch (Thailand)

International

This is the peak of my career, says Alex Hales after England snub

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Alex Hales

England opener Alex Hales, who set the Big Bash League on fire on Friday with a 56-ball 110 for Sydney Thunder against Sydney Sixers, said that the England team management hasn’t got back to him as yet.

Hales, who is the leading run-getter in the Big Bash League 2020-21, with 462 runs in 12 innings at an average of 38.5, has not played for England since March 2019.

Hales’s effort on Friday came a day after the England selector Ed Smith said that the opening batsman may not come back to the national side in near future.

“No, nothing at all – nothing from that end (English selectors). At the moment, I’m just enjoying my cricket and I’m going to keep trying to score as many runs as I can, enjoying myself, and see what happens,” Hales was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.com.

“Obviously that’s the peak of cricket, playing for your country. At the moment, I’m just going to focus on the process of scoring runs and enjoying my cricket, and if that’s the end result then brilliant,” he added.

“This is definitely the best I’ve played, I feel like it’s in the peak of my career. I’m 32 now and I feel like I know my game really well, and I’m just going to keep looking to impress whenever I get a chance. Particularly in T20 cricket, the older you get the more you understand what your strengths are,” Hales said.

England selector Smith had earlier said, “At the moment, I would expect things to stay as they are there. No doors are closed in terms of there’s no final decision. It’s not that it’s going to be the same indefinitely. But at the moment, if I had to make a prediction, I would say we’d stay as we are.”

England are due to play five T20 Internationals and three ODIs against India in India in March.

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Rishabh Pant should replace Iyer or Samson in India ODI, T20I squads: Brad Hogg

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Rishabh-Pant

Former Australia all-rounder Brad Hogg has called on the Indian selectors to include Rishabh Pant in India’s limited-overs squads saying that the batsman’s ability to play unconventional shots makes him difficult to bowl to.

“I would be putting him there right now because he has got the confidence and the belief. He has proven himself with two match-winning knocks in this Test series. You can’t get better than that playing for India on Australian soil. I would put him in place of Iyer. Keep your all-round options there for batting and bowling depth. He will be there for either Iyer or Sanju Samson,” said Hogg on his Youtube channel.

“He is hard to bowl to because he plays a variety of shots that are different to any other batsman. Get him in there,” added Hogg.

Pant scored 97 on the fifth day of the Sydney Test, helping India escape with a draw. He then made an unbeaten 89 on the fifth day of the Brisbane Test to help India win the match by three wickets and seal the series.

The former Chinaman bowler and left-handed batsman, however, backed Virat Kohli to continue as India skipper saying that any change in captaincy at the moment can affect India’s balance.

He said that removing Kohli from captaincy can affect his batting.

“He (Virat Kohli) bats better when he is the captain. I think if you change it, it would destroy the culture of that Indian team. It might affect Kohli’s batting. He wouldn’t want it to happen, but it will happen,” Hogg said.

“Yes, Ajinkya Rahane has done a fantastic job in the last three Tests in Australia. He is cool, calm and collected. He is quite decisive, and he doesn’t get agitated. He is a fantastic leader. But I will leave him as vice-captain because I think Virat Kohli leads from the front,” added Hogg.

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James Anderson picks 30th five-wicket haul, goes clear of McGrath

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James-Anderson

James Anderson picked his 30th five-wicket haul in Test cricket as he moved to sole sixth position among cricketers with most five-wicket hauls.

The right-arm England pace bowler, who was tied with Glenn McGrath in joint sixth position with 29 five-wicket hauls before this Test, removed Niroshan Dickwella for his fifth wicket in the Sri Lankan first innings during the second Test between the two teams at the Galle International Stadium.

He then got rid of Suranga Lakmal to get his sixth wicket of the innings.

Anderson had taken three of the four Sri Lankan wickets to fall on the first day.

He removed centurion Angelo Mathews early on second day, in just his first over of the morning. The former Sri Lanka captain edged one behind to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler.

Anderson is the fourth highest wicket-taker in Test cricket and the best among pace bowlers with 606 scalps. The 38-year-old pace bowler needs 14 more to get past leg-spinner Anil Kumble as the third highest wicket-taker in Test cricket.

Among pace bowlers, only Richard Hadlee has more five-wicket hauls (36) than Anderson in Test cricket.

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