England win will give team lot of confidence: Mahela

Agencies
June 22, 2019

Leeds, Jun 22: Sri Lankan's shock win over England should change things for the better, feels batting great Mahela Jayawardene, after a run of matches in which they seemed to have "played with a little bit of fear".

Defending a relatively modest target of 233, Sri Lanka bowled out favourites England for 212 for a 20-run win at the Headingley on Friday.

"I hope this game will give Sri Lanka a lot of confidence in this ICC Men's Cricket World Cup. They have beaten one of the best teams in the world, and they need to believe in themselves," Jayawardene wrote in his column for the ICC.

"At times it feels like they have played with a little bit of fear and have not been able to really express themselves. This win should change that."

The former skipper praised Lasith Malinga's match-winning spells, during which he picked up four big English wickets.

"It's not about the six pack, it's about the skill and Lasith Malinga showed that in spades in Sri Lanka’s win over England.

"He has done it so many times for Sri Lanka over the years but it was great to see him at his best," Jayawardene said.

The Lankans needed a Malinga special and the veteran obliged the team with his fine exhibition of fast bowling.

"He was on a mission with the new ball, taking two crucial early wickets which Sri Lanka needed to defend a total like 232.

"Then when Joe Root looked like he was playing one of those innings where he just takes the game away from you, Dimuth Karunaratne turned to Mali and threw him the ball. He told him that he needed him and Mali delivered," said Jayawardene.

"Big players perform in big games and that is what he did, removing Root and then Jos Buttler who could have won the game for England as well."

The batting legend also lavished praise on the Lankan skipper.

"I was really impressed with Dimuth's captaincy, trusting his players, bringing on the off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva at an important time and getting rewarded for that.

"Even after they had batted, I felt that it was a competitive total because the wicket was fairly slow."

He was happy to see Angelo Mathews among the runs.

"It was great to see Angelo Mathews scoring some runs. He still isn't quite in top form and you could tell that he really needed a score.

"At times I wanted him to be more aggressive, but with wickets falling around him, he produced a great innings and was the rock of that batting line-up. A word also for Avishka Fernando. His performance should give Sri Lankan fans a lot of hope for the future."

Jayawardene said the unexpected result will open up the tournament.

"It's a great win for Sri Lanka, but also for the World Cup and it opens things up a little.

"The top four so far have a lot of matches against each other coming up, so they will inevitably drop some points. You look at New Zealand, Australia and England who all have to play each other which does make it interesting.

"That leaves Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the West Indies with a chance to close the gap if they can pick up a few more wins."

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Agencies
January 20,2021

INCREDIBLE INDIA: Magnificent Pant powers team to series win after  Gill-Pujara show | MorungExpress | morungexpress.com

Brisbane, Jan 20: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram applauded Team India for their remarkable turnaround in the Test series against Australia.

India beat Australia by three wickets against all odds in the final Test of the series at The Gabba on Tuesday to take the series 2-1.

Akram, who is one the best bowlers cricket has ever seen, said he hasn't seen a bold, brave, and boisterous Asian side on a tougher tour of Australia before this achievement.

"Incredible Test & series win for India have not seen a bold, brave and boisterous Asian team on a tougher tour of Australia. No adversity could stop them, frontline players injured, & won after a remarkable turn around from the depths of 36 all out, inspiring for others. kudos India," Akram tweeted.

The last time a visiting team came out triumphant from the Brisbane Cricket Ground was back in November 1988 when the mighty West Indian outfit under the leadership of Viv Richards thrashed Allan Border's team by 9 wickets.

What makes the feat even more commendable is how the Indians fought multiple injuries and mental fatigue - due to the bio-bubble restrictions -- to register a historic win.

In the first Test against Australia, India was bundled out for 36 and there were many pundits who said the visiting team will face a 4-0 drubbing. But proving every critic wrong, the Ajinkya Rahane-led side registered famous victories at Melbourne and Brisbane.

The side also recorded a famous draw at Sydney and at every step of the way, this line-up overcame adversity.
India's memorable win has also ensured they toppled Australia in the ICC Test Team Rankings to claim the second spot. 

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Agencies
January 9,2021

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New Delhi, Jan 9: BCCI vice president Rajeev Shukla has reacted strongly after it came to the fore that Indian pacers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah were racially abused by the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground on the second and third day of the ongoing Pink Test between India and Australia.

Speaking to ANI, Shukla said that the gentleman's game has no place for such behaviour and that Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Jay Shah is aware of the issue and is in touch with the team.

"We have come to know about the issue. Cricket is a gentleman's game and these kinds of things are not allowed or accepted. The team management is dealing with the matter. The BCCI as well as the ICC is aware of it and there are ICC rules and provisions which forbid anyone from making comments that are racial in nature.

"In spite of that, if somebody is using racial comments, I think the Australian court should take cognizance of it and these kinds of incidents must be prevented. There is no place for such acts and these kinds of things are not allowed or accepted. I think every board should take cognizance of it and take strict measures to ensure such acts aren't repeated," he said.

Sources in the know of developments in the team said that the bowlers initially brought the matter up with stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane before the team went into a huddle with the coaching staff led by Ravi Shastri and decided that this sort of behaviour should not and will not be ignored.

The relationship between the two teams has taken a turn in recent times with Queensland's Health Shadow Minister Ros Bates' comments regarding quarantine guidelines for the fourth Test in Brisbane also painting the Indian team in poor light.

With questions raised on whether the Indian team would be willing to follow strict quarantine protocols for the final Test of the series at The Gabba, Bates said: "If the Indians don't want to play by the rules, don't come."

Commenting on the fourth Test at The Gabba, Shukla said: "As far as Brisbane is concerned, the comfort of the player should be kept in mind. They have already been in this process of isolation and have followed all guidelines. So, their interest should also be kept in mind." 

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Agencies
January 20,2021

Never ever, ever underestimate the Indians: Langer

Adelaide, Jan 20: "Never ever, ever underestimate" the Indians, said Australia head coach Justin Langer following their Test series loss against the Ajinkya Rahane-led side.

An injury-ravaged India, fielding a second string team, on Tuesday defeated Australia by three wickets in the series-deciding fourth Test at the Gabba, a month after the Adelaide debacle where the visitors were bundled out for their lowest ever Test total of 36. India became the first team to beat Australia at the Gabba in a Test match since Viv Richards' all-conquering West Indies team in November 1988.

"It was an incredible Test series and in the end there is always a winner or a loser. Today Test cricket is the winner. It's going to hurt us big time. India deserved full credit. They have been outstanding but we have learnt lessons from it," Langer told Channel 7 after the Brisbane Test.

"First, you can never take anything for granted, second never ever, ever underestimate the Indians. There are 1.5 billion Indians and if you play in that first eleven you got to be really tough, don't you?" he added.

The former Australia opener Langer said India put up a remarkable fightback after the Adelaide debacle especially after the ouster of big players like Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin due to injuries.

Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari managed to eke out a draw in the third Test that kept the series level. Both players were injured after that along with frontline fast bowler Bumrah which led to India having to field debutants Washington Sundar and T Natarajan in the fourth Test. Shardul Thakur, who had played just one Test before that, was also included while Mohammed Siraj, who made his debut in the second Test, was pushed to being India's new ball bowler.

"I can't compliment India enough. They haven't gone away after that first Test match which we won in three days, bowled them out for 30 odd. For them to fight back like they did is amazing, credit to them. The big lesson for us is that you can't take anything for granted. India never got away," he said.

Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill were the stars on the final day of the fourth Test in which India chased down a target of 238. Gill scored 91 while Pant was unbeaten on 89. Langer said that the latter's innings reminded him of England all-rounder Ben Stokes's 135 at Headingley during the third Ashes Test in 2019 in which he smashed 75 runs with no.11 Jack Leach at the other end to take England to victory by one wicket .

"It was an amazing effort. (Rishabh) Pant's innings somewhat reminded me of Ben Stokes's innings in Headingley actually. He came in, he was almost fearless and he will be lauded because of it. It was an unbelievable innings," Langer said in his praise of the Indian wicket keeper-batsman.

"I thought young (Shubman) Gill (91) batted very well. Their young bowling attack kept us under pressure throughout the match and as I said India deserve full credit."

Langer also said that he was proud of his bowlers for the efforts they put in throughout the series.

"From our point of view, we had the same four bowlers (Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc) who have gone hard, they have stood up and they have worked so hard but unfortunately we didn't get over the line today," he said.

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