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Wednesday,26-January-2022

International

SA v IND: For a period of time, India forgot about the game, says Elgar on DRS drama

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South Africa captain Dean Elgar believes India expressing their displeasure over the DRS call off him worked well for his team as the tourists forgot the match situation for a period of time.

On day three of the third Test in Cape Town, Elgar reviewed a lbw decision off Ravichandran Ashwin on the fourth delivery of the 21st over in South Africa’s chase of 212.

Umpire Marais Erasmus had adjudged Elgar lbw on a delivery which came in and hit him in front of the middle stump on the knee roll. The ball-tracking technology showed that the ball would go over the stumps, thereby overturning the original decision.

It resulted in anger expressed by the Indian team through stump mics. Though Elgar was dismissed at stumps by Jasprit Bumrah, South Africa were needing just 111 runs to win on day four, which they knocked off with seven wickets in hand on Friday.

“Loved it. It was obviously a team that was a little bit under pressure. Things weren’t going their way, which they are obviously quite used to of late. But in Test match cricket, it was pressure I think which gave us a little bit of window period, especially yesterday (Thursday) to score a little bit freer and chip away at the target we needed. It worked out well in our hands and played nicely into our hands.

“For a period of time, they actually forgot about the game and were channelling a bit more of their emotional side of what Test cricket has to offer. Extremely happy that it happened that way,” said Elgar in post-match virtual conference.

After losing the first Test at Centurion by 113 runs, South Africa came back from behind to deny a formidable Indian side from winning the series. Elgar had said after the seven-wicket win at Johannesburg that he had a chat to fire up Kagiso Rabada, which was enough to get the pace spearhead at his best.

Asked about the nature of the chats, Elgar refused to go into the details.

“I am not going to reveal anything because what happens in the team, stays in the team. Basically, after losing the first Test, we knew the guys will have to stand up from a character point of view. We had to make the guys a bit more of conscious effort and be a lot more aware of what position they have within the side, purely to bring the best out of that player. Ultimately, bringing the best out of the player will influence the environment.

“I am glad, very, very relieved and thankful to all the guys for responding the way they did. This was a proper squad effort and by no means, can’t pinpoint the guys. Sure, a few individuals did exceptional things in the series.

“Going forward, it has always been a squad effort. Even to the guys who didn’t play, they stood up in the right occasions for us. Those chats will stay behind the closed doors for us.”

Speaking about the nature of chats with players like Rabada and others in the team, Elgar explained, “You got to have a mutual respect within the squad, with every individual player. That’s a two-way street which enables you to have the conversations we had in the last two weeks. The players needed to take them on board and need to understand I am not there to manipulate them or do injustice to their careers as I need them to be operating at a level which is respectable at the level of Test cricket.

“If you want to be the best, you need to operate at a level like we have done in the last few weeks. But you need to be pretty consistent around that. I think I have a pretty good relationship with everyone in the team, be it the oldest or youngest player in the team.

“I would like to think I connect with them in a pretty good way, a special way where the guys think that Dean’s doing this for the right reasons. It comes into the buying process, where the guys have to give in to the message that I speak of and echo throughout the changing room. It all boils down to respect, you need to respect each other irrespective of age and how long you have been playing the game.

“We all play for one cause, that is to win the game and another cause, which is playing for the country. We all are influenced in our own respective ways bearing in mind that the team’s way is the only way going forward. It sounds a little bit harsh but if you want to be the best, you need to have that skill which you need to have and the guys have started to develop as this process of our journey has continued. I like to think I am not offending anyone by the language I use, the words I speak just to know that I need to motivate and influence this group.”

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Malinga set to take over as Sri Lanka’s fast bowling consultant: Report

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Lasith-Malinga

Former Sri Lankan pace bowler Lasith Malinga is set to become the fast bowling consultant coach of the national cricket team after the high-profile Cricket Advisory Committee recommended his name to Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) Executive Committee.

The 38-year-old Malinga, who played for more than a decade for Indian Premier League (IPL) side Mumbai Indians, will oversee the Sri Lankan team’s preparations for the upcoming T20I tour of Australia, where the side will play five matches, a report in the The Island said on Wednesday.

While Malinga is one of the most successful T20 bowlers in the world due to his sling-shot action and is a Sri Lankan icon, his appointment has reportedly not gone down well with several stakeholders of the game in the country.

The report said that while he was adored by millions of fans, “he wasn’t the most likeable person in the dressing room with a host of Sri Lankan captains having concerns about his conduct”.

“It is alleged that Malinga deliberately slowed down the over rate with the intention of suspending the captain, an allegation that SLC has not investigated. Cricket’s playing conditions at one point dictated that slow over rates would result in fines for players and suspension for the captain. Since then, the International Cricket Council has amended the playing conditions and the captain is no longer suspended,” the report added.

Sri Lanka lifted the ICC T20 World Cup in 2014 under Malinga’s captaincy, as he was filling in for the suspended Dinesh Chandimal, but his overall record as skipper is abysmal. He led the country in nine One-day Internationals and all nine ended in losses. Under his leadership, Sri Lanka lost 15 of the 24 T20Is it played.

The report said that the Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising of stalwarts such as Kumar Sangakkara, Aravinda de Silva and Muttiah Muralitharan among others, had their reservations on endorsing Malinga as fast bowling consultant coach. However, since the recommendation reportedly came from former skipper and consultant coach Mahela Jayawardene, it could not be denied, the report said.

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Afghanistan complete whitewash to grab crucial Cricket World Cup Super League points

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Afghanistan completed a 3-0 series victory over the Netherlands to grab 30 crucial World Cup Super League points, here on Tuesday.

Half-centuries from Najibullah Zadran and debutant Riaz Hassan and a three-wicket haul from another debutant Qais Ahmad helped Afghanistan to a 75-run win, setting up a 3-0 series victory in the ODI series.

After deciding to bat first, Afghanistan were driven by 19-year old opener Riaz on debut. The Netherlands managed to send back the centurion from the last game, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, for 12, but Riaz and Rahmat Shah put on an 86-run partnership to revive the innings.

Once Saqib Zulfiqar broke the partnership by sending back Riaz, the Netherlands managed another wicket soon with Rahmat dismissed in the 33rd over. Najibullah Zadran compiled a fine half-century with aid from the lower middle-order. Najibullah finished on 71 off 59 balls as Afghanistan made 254/5 in their 50 overs.

In reply, the Netherlands made a strong start with Scott Edwards once again leading the charge. Colin Ackermann gave him solid company and the duo thwarted Afghanistan’s new ball plans. Their 50 came up in 10 overs with the openers laying a solid platform.

They carried on in the same vein, putting on 103 for the opening wicket before Afghanistan’s debutant Qais broke the stand with his maiden ODI wicket, that of Edwards, trapped in front by the leg-spinner. Fareed Ahmad sent back skipper Pieter Seelaar for a duck and Afghanistan had the opportunity to put a leash on the chase.

The spinners worked in tandem and soon the Netherlands went from 103/0 to 153/5 with Boris Gorlee, Bas de Leede and the well-set Colin Ackermann, who made 81 off 96 balls, also back in the hut. The tables had turned around at this stage and Afghanistan were right on top in the game. They went on to bowl out the Netherlands for 179 to seal a 75-run victory and secure a series whitewash.

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Australia to tour Pakistan with a full-strength squad, says George Bailey

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Chief selector George Bailey on Tuesday confirmed that no Australian player has asked to be left out of the squad that is set to embark on their first tour of Pakistan since 1999.

Bailey added that the selection will be solely based on managing their workload.

“I believe the boards are still working through some of the minor details around that tour, so once that gets the formal tick of approval then we’ll announce the squad post that, but we’re reasonably well down the track,” Bailey was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia’s website.

“The two (security) briefings that I’ve sat in on, the security sounds very, very robust.”

The tour is set to start on March 3. It will consist of three Test matches to be played in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore and will be followed by a three-match ODI series from March 29 to April 2. A lone T20I will be played on April 5.

The last time Pakistan had an ICC event on its soil was when it co-hosted the 1996 World Cup along with India and Sri Lanka. The terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009 ensured Test cricket remained out of bounds until 2019.

In 2020, before the T20 World Cup, New Zealand and England had pulled out of the tour of Pakistan citing security concerns.

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