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Sunday,16-May-2021

International

ICC praises New Zealand players after team’s jump in ODI rankings

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday commended New Zealand on becoming the No. 1 side in One-day International (ODI) rankings, calling it a huge achievement for a country with just over 51 lakh people.

The ICC tweeted, “No. 1 Men’s ODI team: @BLACKCAPS; No.1 Men’s Test batsman: Kane Williamson; No.1 Men’s ODI bowler: @trent_boult; No.1 Women’s T20I all-rounder: @sophdevine77. Estimated population: 5,112,300.”

The Black Caps had on Monday moved up two slots in MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings after gaining three rating points to reach an aggregate of 121. They displaced England from the top.

Among the players ICC praised were experienced batsmen Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor and fast bowlers Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson.

Williamson, who currently sits 12th on the ICC ODI batting rankings, was the country’s key performer during the ICC World Cup in 2019, where he was pivotal in the Black Caps’ charge to the final and finished as the tournament’s fourth-highest run-scorer (578 at 82.57).

Taylor, who currently sits fourth on the ICC ODI batting rankings, is New Zealand’s highest run-scorer in ODIs over the past three years, scoring a dozen 50-plus scores in 27 innings.

Boult’s miserly economy combined with the frequency with which he has taken wickets in this period (strike rate of 33.5) has lifted him to the top of the ODI bowling rankings. He has been in the top-three since February 2019.

Despite a lengthy stint on the sidelines, young fast bowler Ferguson is New Zealand’s top ODI wicket-taker over the past three years and was the stand-out performer at the last World Cup, emerging the second-highest wicket-taker with 21 wickets.

International

Pollard was stunned by 1st contract offered by MI: Dwayne Bravo

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Kieron-Pollard

Dwayne Bravo revealed the role he played in Mumbai Indians (MI) signing Kieron Pollard in 2010. Bravo played for MI between 2008 and 2010 and the team was searching for a replacement after the Trinidadian left for Chennai Super Kings.

“When Mumbai Indians needed a replacement for me, I gave them Kieron Pollard’s name. When they tried contacting him, he was playing for a club, so I recommended Dwayne Smith and he became my replacement,” Bravo told Cricbuzz.

“The following year, when it was the Champions League, I called Rahul (Sanghvi) and said, ‘Pollard, he’s here. Come and sign him now before the tournament starts.’ Rahul and Robin Singh left Mumbai and came to Hyderabad, I’ll never forget they came with a contract which at that time was 200,000 USD. I called Pollard, who came downstairs and met them both in the lobby. He saw the contract. Now for someone coming from Trinidad, as a 19-year-old, that was wow. He said, ‘Dwayne are you serious?” said Bravo.

Pollard has turned out to be one of the most important signings in MI’s history, playing an integral role in the team’s five Indian Premier League (IPL) victories. He has scored 3,191 runs for MI at a strike rate of 150.87 and taken 63 wickets as well.

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International

India retain top spot in ICC Test rankings

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India have retained the top spot in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) annual update of the Test rankings. India are on 121 rating points while second-placed New Zealand are on 120.

England overtook Australia to take third place with 109 rating points. Australia currently have 108. The West Indies, who beat Bangladesh 2-0 and drew 0-0 with Sri Lanka in series played this year, have moved from eighth to sixth with 84 points, their best position since 2013.

The ICC said that the latest update eliminates the results of 2017/18. It rates all matches played since May 2020 at 100 per cent and those of the previous two years at 50 per cent

“India’s 2-1 win over Australia and 3-1 win over England over the past year and New Zealand’s 2-0 series wins over the West Indies and Pakistan have helped them keep ahead of the pack,” said the ICC.

Pakistan have gained three points but remain in fifth position.

South Africa are in seventh position, equaling their lowest in Test ranking history, while Sri Lanka are next on the list. Bangladesh have lost five points but remain in ninth position while Zimbabwe have gained eight points but are still nine points behind Bangladesh.

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Warner took news of being axed as SRH captain with class: Brad Haddin

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SunRisers-Hyderabad

Batsman David Warner took the news of him being axed as SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain in the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) “with class”, said the team’s assistant coach Brad Haddin.

“He took it with class. It was a bit of a shock to everyone when the management decided to go in a different direction to try and spark something in the team. We weren’t playing at the standard we needed to but with Davey, the way he handled it, it was all class. He just got back on with the job,” Haddin said on Fox Cricket.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson replaced Warner as captain. SRH ended up playing only one match under Williamson as the season got postponed after that due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Warner was dropped in that game.

Haddin, the former Australia wicketkeeper who was also Warner’s team mate in the Australian team, said that the latter just got on with his job and had no qualms in bringing out drinks for the players.

“I dare say he would come back in the contention in the next few games. He’s one of the best in the world in that form of the game. You had to look at the way he reacted when he came on to the bench. He was around everyone; he was running the drinks out. He was really focussed on the meetings so he handled it with a lot of class in a difficult situation,” Haddin said.

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