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Monday,17-May-2021

International

MS Dhoni No.1 wicketkeeper-batsman we have ever seen, says Ben Dunk

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Australia cricketer Ben Dunk believes former India captain MS Dhoni is “probably the number one wicketkeeper-batsman” the world cricket has even seen.

“I think MS Dhoni is probably the number one wicketkeeper-batsman that we have ever seen. The way that he has played over a long period of time is amazing. His legacy and record and everything speak for himself,” Dunk, who has played five T20Is for Australia, said.

“He has got ice that runs through his veins, he takes the game to a place where it’s almost unwinnable and seems to somehow win them all the time. If I could play 5 or 10 percent as good as MS, I would be very happy,” he added.

Dunk, who will turn up for Qalandars in the Abu Dhabi T10 tournament beginning Thursday, said he is looking forward to playing with former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi.

“Shahid Afridi is an amazing cricketer and he’ll have an amazing legacy. I have grown up watching Shahid Afridi. He just keeps going and going. And he’s still playing cricket as well as he ever has. I am really looking forward to him. I have watched him for a long period, so I am looking forward to seeing him up close and watch how he goes about it,” said the 33-year-old.

Dunk added that he was also looking forward to playing with English players Chris Jordan and Tom Banton.

“Chris Jordan is a wonderful bowler, who has played all over the world and he has taken the most wickets in T20Is for England so I am looking forward to playing with him. Tom Banton is a young guy, who is making his mark on the game. We have got a host of players, who have performed well in T20 cricket,” said Dunk.

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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