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Friday,14-May-2021

International

Ravichandran Ashwin can bat only on turners: Former players laud spinner

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Ravichandran-Ashwin

R Ashwin, who on Monday scored a century to become the first Indian player to score a hundred and take five wickets in an innings of a Test for a third time, earned effusive praise from former cricketers.

Ashwin took five wickets for 43 in England’s first innings on Sunday, the second day of the second Test, and followed it up with 106 on on Monday. It was his fifth Test ton.

Vinoo Mankad (vs England at Lord’s, London, in 1952) and Polly Umrigar (vs West Indies in Port of Spain in 1961-62) are the other Indians to score a century and take five wickets in an innings.

“So, for a man who allegedly picks wickets on turners according to some, gets a hundred on a turner in the 2nd innings.. Well done @ashwinravi99 .. Can bat only on turners!! (emoticons: winking face with tongue),” said former India and Tamil Nadu batsman WV Raman.

Former England batsman Ian Bell tweeted, “Well, this is pretty special. Ruthless from India. Wonderful cricket. #Ashwin.”

Former India Test opener Shikhar Dhawan, who opens for India in limited-overs cricket tweeted, “Chepauk applauds you, the country applauds you (emoticon: clapping hands) Ashwin, what an all round performance! @ashwinravi99.”

Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, whose record for second most wickets at home by an Indian was broken by Ashwin on Sunday, tweeted, “Class 100 (emoticons: clapping hands) Simply outstanding @ashwinravi99 take a bow Man bowing deeply.. showing everyone how to bat and bowl on this track.. well done @BCCI @StarSportsIndia #INDvsENG.”

Ashwin’s former India and Tamil Nadu teammate, Dinesh Karthik, said that while the whole world is talking about the poor pitch, Ashwin has proved his class by scoring a century at No. 8.

“When the whole whole world talks about it being a bad wicket, @ashwinravi99 gets a 100 batting at 8. I hope this lessens the doubts in all the pundits head. A certain game plan and implicit trust in defence gives you a great chance of doing well in this Chennai wicket #legend,” he tweeted.

India women cricketer Mithali Raj wrote, “What an outstanding performance from @ashwinravi99. The fifer followed by a brilliant hundred in the second innings. Top class (emoticon: raising hands).”

Even the opposition fans were in awe of Ashwin.

“Well Batted Ash! (emoticons: clapping hands) A wonderful innings comes to end for Ashwin as he’s bowled by Stone for 106 Cricket bat and ball.(emoticon: flag of India) all out for 286, lead by 482 runs,” Barmy Army tweeted from its official handle.

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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India retain top spot in ICC Test rankings

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Indian-team

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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