KKR vs DC: 3 takeaways from the twenty-sixth encounter

KKR vs DC: 3 takeaways from the twenty-sixth encounter

Delhi Capitals (DC) registered a convincing win by 7 wickets over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Friday, April 12. 

Delhi Capitals won the toss and elected to field first. Both the teams have changed their playing XI; while Keemo Paul came in place of Lamichhane in Delhi, Lockie Ferguson, Joe Denly and Carlos Brathwaite replaced Narine, Gurney, and Lynn in Kolkata’s playing XI.

Asked to bat, Kolkata was hoping for a flying start but debutant Joe Denly went for a golden duck. Both Shubman Gill and Robin Uthappa tried their best score freely and managed to put up 41 within the powerplay. However, Rishabh Pant’s brilliance sent Uthappa in the dugout. Gill scored his second IPL fifty off 34 balls but other failed to capitalize apart from Russell; who scored 45 off 21 before his dismissal. Kolkata ended up scoring 178 on board after 20 overs.

Chasing the total, both Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw started brilliantly. However, that didn’t stay long as Prithvi Shaw fell for 14 while in-form Shreyas Iyer also got out for 6 within the powerplay, putting up 57 runs. Later a 105-run partnership between Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant helped them to win the game comfortably.

Here are the three talking points of the game:

A slow start of Kolkata

With Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn’s absence, Kolkata Knight Riders opened their inning with a new opening pair. In-form Shubman Gill opened the game alongside new player Joe Denly. However, Denly went for a duck off the very first ball by Ishant Sharma. His pitched up delivery got an inside edge and uprooted the stump. 

Then, Robin Uthappa and Shubman Gill tried to steady the ship. Their rather defensive play cost Kolkata to put up more runs on board on the green surface. Uthappa took 30 balls to score 28. They both added 63 runs before Uthappa’s dismissal. Moreover, the situation didn’t change at all as they managed to score 122 after 15 overs until Andre Russell took the charge on his hand. His quickfire 21-ball 45, including three boundaries and four sixes, powered Kolkata to 178.

Also Read: The Fantasy Guide for MI vs RR

Russell was dismissed off the second delivery of the 19th over and Kolkata managed to score only 17 runs in the end which proved vital as well. Had he not dismissed at that time, Kolkata might have scored nearly 190 after 20 overs.

Failed to take wickets

Kolkata was defending 179 runs which were a decent competitive total. Chasing the target, Delhi lost their inform-opener Prithvi Shaw and captain Shreyas Iyer within the powerplay. But Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant built a steady partnership which Kolkata failed to break before 17.1 overs. No bowlers were able to restrict them. If they would able to dismiss them, the result could have been different.

Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant’s 105-run partnership

Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan was not in a good form in the last couple of games. However, he started pretty well in yesterday’s match along with the other opener Prithvi Shaw. But Shaw couldn’t perform well as he fell for 14 and later their captain Shreyas Iyer also followed him.

Then, the pressure fell upon Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant. They tried to resurrect the innings but didn’t let the run rate slow down. Dhawan scored his 34th half-century off 32 balls. When they got set, it became difficult for the bowlers to get past them. They both added 105 runs in their chase before Pant got dismissed for 46 off 31, including 4 boundaries and 2 sixes.

However, Dhawan kept on smashing and remained unbeaten at 97 off 63 balls which included 11 fours and 2 sixes. His heroics took Delhi Capitals over the line with 7 balls to spare.

IPL 2019: DC vs KXIP- Key player battles to watch out for

IPL 2019: DC vs KXIP- Key player battles to watch out for

The 13th match of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League will see the Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals lock horns with each other, contesting for the much needed two points.

Both teams are coming off wins in their respective previous matches. In their first home match of the season, KXIP defeated the Mumbai Indians, while the Delhi Capitals earned two points after denying the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Super Over.

Both teams have played three games, so far, have won two and lost one, so a win tonight could thrust them to top of the IPL points table- where till now they’ve secured the 4th(DC) and 5th (KXIP) positions.

As the two teams lock horns at the PCA stadium in Mohali, let’s have a look at the key player battles to watch out for:

Shikhar Dhawan vs Mohammed Shami

The 33-year-old left-handed opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan started his IPL 2019 campaign with a brilliant half-century against the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings. From then on the Delhi Capitals batsman has looked in good form in this season of the marquee T20 league. On the other hand, Shami has also been a consistent performer for KXIP and with three wickets under his belt, he will be looking to add more to his kitty. These two India cricketers will surely face each other at the start of the innings and the crowd can expect an interesting battle.

Also Read: The Fantasy Guide for this match

Chris Gayle vs Chris Morris

This is the belligerence between the lethal batsman from West Indies and the effective fast bowler from South Africa. Over the years, these two cricketers have faced each other on multiple occasions and Morris seems to have a slender edge in their battle. The all-rounder has dismissed Gayle three times in the IPL and has conceded just 40 runs in 34 balls. Morris will be looking to reproduce the action and if he gets Gayle early, it will be a huge advantage for the Delhi Capitals.

KL Rahul vs Amit Mishra

Amit Mishra is a veteran of IPL and with 149 wickets under his belt, he is just one away from becoming the second bowler ever to take 150 scalps in the tournament. On the other hand, in KXIP’s previous outing, KL Rahul found form to score 71 from 57 balls to drive his team to a 177 run target. Kings XI Punjab have won more matches against the Delhi Capitals than against any other opponent. They won both their matches against the Delhi Capitals last season. In the first meeting in Mohali, the hosts chased down 167 to win by 6 wickets – the highlight of the match being KL Rahul’s 16-ball 51 – during which he scored the fastest-ever half-century in the IPL.

Rishabh Pant vs Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Mujeeb Ur Rahman had a brilliant outing for KXIP last season and against Rishabh Pant, he enjoys an equally impressive record. The Afghanistan spinner has dismissed Pant twice and will be looking to continue their run if he plays on Monday. However, Pant has improved a lot when it comes to playing the spinners and that will play a major role in their battles. In the second meeting in Delhi, KXIP defended 143 to win by 4 runs; Delhi needed 5 runs off the last ball, but Mujeeb ur Rahman had Shreyas Iyer caught at long-off to deny the hosts.

IPL 2019: Some weaknesses of the franchises this year

IPL 2019: Some weaknesses of the franchises this year

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is around the corner and all set to start on 23rd March in Chennai where the Chennai Super Kings will face the Royal Challengers Bangalore. 

However, all the teams have analyzed and did their homework prior to the season begins. Every franchise has tried their best to buy the best players who can provide the runs or breakthroughs for the teams. However, due to the limited budget, it wasn’t possible for the teams to buy all the players they wanted for their team

Hence, there are weak links in every team. Let’s have a look at those weaknesses:

Delhi Capitals – Missing of an anchor

Image Source – news18

From the beginning of the tournament, Delhi have never won the tournament. Delhi had quite a few openers from the beginning but they always failed to succeed in their plans.

However, this year they have India’s left-hand opener Shikhar Dhawan in their kitty. Along with him, the U-19 ICC World Cup-winning captain Prithvi Shaw. They both might give a flying start to the team but they need an anchor who can give the stability to the innings and along with this, will carry forward the run chase as well as to put up a decent total.

They have some batsmen like Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, and Glenn Maxwell etc. They all are in good touch with the bat Gambhir’s retirement has created a void in the team as he used to give some stability in the team. Being a captain, Shreyas Iyer has to be more responsible with the bat and he should play an anchor’s role till the end.

If Iyer-led team will fail to improve their batting performance, they might have to forget their win this year as well. 

Kolkata Knight Riders – Lack of bench strength

Image Source – myKhel

Lack of bench strength is one of the main problems of Kolkata Knight Riders. Apart from Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, and Andre Russell, there are other foreigners as well, like Carlos Brathwaite,  Lockie Ferguson, Joe Denly, Anrich Nortje, and Harry Gurney. They are good T20 players but they are not that much experience of playing in India.

Not only the foreign players but also the Indian players on the bench are not experienced enough to manage the pressure while playing and they might fail to deliver good performance.

Kings XI Punjab – Absence of finishers

Image Source – CricketCountry.com

Though Kings XI Punjab have some renowned players, they don’t have a proper finisher in the squad this season. They had suffered for the same cause earlier also. As Chris Gayle failed to contribute in the second part of the game last year and David Miller too failed to show any impact over the last few seasons, Punjab will surely face trouble.

However, in the shortest format of the game, every team need a finisher who can hit big as well because they are needed to set certain targets as well as to chase big scores. Meanwhile, if Miller will fail to deliver, then Punjab might not be in a good position in the tournament.

Rajasthan Royals – Weaknesses in both batting and bowling

Image Source – Times Now

Rajasthan Royals probably have more weak links than any other teams. Though they have  Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Steve Smith, and Jofra Archer as of now, the team will be one of the weakest teams in the tournament after their departure.

Among the other four foreign players, only Ish Sodhi has the experience of playing IPL, but the others- Liam Livingstone, Ashton Turner, and Oshane Thomas have never played the league before. Meanwhile, the team has only Ajinkya Rahane as the renowned batsman. Apart from him, the known faces are Sanju Samson and Rahul Tripathi.

Apart from Jofra Archer, there is no other bowler who could be a game changer as Jaydev Unadkat had a not-so-good time in the last season, while Varun Aaron didn’t get a chance to play. However, it will interesting to see how Rajasthan can turn their weaknesses into strength.

Also Read: Top 3 contenders of IPL 2019

IPL 2019: Reasons why Delhi Capitals can win the title this year

The twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is going to start from March 23. The tournament has got immense appreciation all over the world. Since its beginning in 2008, the IPL has tried to be the bridge between the domestic circuit and international games. 

However, the tournament has the ability to attract the people and topmost players from all the countries, take part in the league. After having started well in the first two seasons of the IPL, the Delhi Daredevils which is renamed now Delhi Capitals’ journey in the IPL has many ups and downs. They haven’t won the title so far. 

Meanwhile, there are many sides like of Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad who can win the title this year. But Delhi Capitals has a balanced team this year who will be guided by the former Australia player Ricky Ponting and they can pose a big hurdle for the other teams.

However, these could be the reasons for Delhi Capitals’ win IPL 2019:

Stable opening pair

Image Source – Times Now

The left-hand opener of India, Shikhar Dhawan has returned to the team after eleven long years. He is the sixth highest run-getter in IPL history who had a great outing for Sunrises Hyderabad last year where he scored 497 runs at an average of 38.23.

On the other hand, it is Prithvi Shaw, the under-19 world cup winning captain and the new batting sensation of India. Shaw has already made his debut for the country in Tests against West Indies where he scored 237 runs in three innings at an average of 118.5.

Delhi had many openers, from Jason Roy, Mayank Agarwal, Quinton De Kock to Gautam Gambhir but they were not able to contribute much. Because of that, Delhi suffered a lot – be it run chasing or putting up scores on board.

This year, Shikhar Dhawan’s inclusion will provide extra strength to the batting line up. However, it is expected that he and Prithvi Shaw will play crucial roles in their side’s victory.

Long batting line up

Image Source – IPLT20.com

Along with Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw, Delhi has a strong batting line this year. Under-19 World Cup winning team’s opener Manjot Kalra, India’s wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Colin Munro are there to strengthen the middle-order. 

Shreyas Iyer amassed 411 runs in 14 matches while Rishabh Pant smashed 684 runs in 14 matches in the last season. Both of them have been in great form and they will try to continue their form this year as well. Apart from them, they have Chris Morris also; who is a wonderful all-rounder. His inclusion not only helps them in batting but in bowling as well.

Sufficient death bowlers

Image Source – greenteam92.com

It says that T20 is a batsman’s game but if you want to win then you must have experienced death over bowlers in your team. Like the other teams, Delhi too has a strong bowling unit also. They have some renowned bowlers from all over the world, like Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Chris Morris, Sandeep Lamichhane, and Amit Mishra etc.

All of the above bowlers are able to take wickets in the crucial time as well as they have the ability to stop the run-flow. Now, only time can tell whether Delhi can win the title with these aggressive batsmen and experienced bowlers or will IPL 2019 be just another season for them.

Also Read: Top 3 contenders of IPL 2019

MS Dhoni rested for the remaining ODIs against Australia

MS Dhoni rested for the remaining ODIs against Australia

India wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni will be rested for the last two One Day Internationals against Australia. Team’s assistant coach Sanjay Bangar confirmed the news at the post-match press conference on Friday (March 8). 

After winning the first two ODIs against Australia, India lost in the third game at Ranchi. There are two more games left and as the World Cup is around the corner, India will give the chance to Rishabh Pant as well in place of MS Dhoni who has been in the radar for quite some time.
“There will certainly be some changes (in the team XI) because Mahi (MS Dhoni) is not going to play the final two matches. He is taking rest,” Bangar said. “Also, Shami got hurt today in his leg so we will need to check whether he can be fit for day after (Mohali ODI). If he does not get fit then Bhuvneshwar Kumar could come in,” addes Sanjay Bangar
However, there is a chance of Bhuvneshwar Kumar to come in place of Mohammed Shami; who got hurt in his shin by a straight drive and was forced to left the field for some time. However, he returned to the field to finish his spell.
“Shami also had a hit on the leg. We have to see whether he’ll be fit for the game. If he’s not fit then Bhuvneshwar Kumar will play. Those decisions the captain and coach take it before the game,” said Sanjay Bangar. 
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli too said in the post-match presentation that India will change a couple of players in the playing XI for the next two matches.
“We will have a few changes in the next couple of games. We have to figure out what those changes are. But the idea is to go out there and win matches and take a lot of pride in winning games for the country. That mindset will not change. We will have a few new faces and they will have to make the most of their chances because there is a World Cup coming and everyone wants to be on that flight,” said Kohli after the third ODI.
Also Read: India should solve these issues before World Cup 2019

India vs Australia 2019: Players to watch out for in the T20I series

India vs Australia 2019: Players to watch out for in the T20I series

India are all set to take on Australia for a two-match Twenty20 International series and five-match One Day International series, starting from February 24. 

Here are the five players who could make a difference for their respective sides in the scintillating battle.

Rishabh Pant

India vs Australia 2019: Players to watch out for in the T20I series
Image Source – ICC Cricket

The recipient of emerging player of the year 2018, Rishabh Pant is a great find for India in recent years. The Orange Cap holder in IPL 2018 by scoring 684 runs with a strike rate around 160, Pant earned his maiden Test cap last year.

After that, there’s no looking back. He scored a century in the last test during India’s tour of England, in Oval and also had a decent performance with the gloves behind the stumps in the series. He kept his form intact and scored 350 runs at an avg of 58.33 with a brilliant 159* in Sydney against Aussies in four-match test series. He has amassed 696 runs in 9 Test matches so far.

Though he did not get that much of chance to show his worth in the ODIs due to MS Dhoni’s presence, in T20I he has done wonders in recent times. His ability to score quick, as well as big, will help India in the middle-overs. This series will be crucial for him to be selected as a second wicket-keeper in the upcoming World Cup.

Also Read: 5 lesser known facts about Rishabh Pant

D’Arcy Short

Image Source – India Today

The star left-hand opener of Australia is back in business and will be looking to make the most of the Indian tour prior to the World Cup this year.

The 28-year old is coming from a wonderful Big Bash League 2019 where he scored a total of 637 runs in 14 matches for the Hobart Hurricanes this season. Along with this, Short also picked up 10 wickets and was awarded as the ‘Player of the Tournament’.

He was a part of the squad in their previous series against India but couldn’t showcase his talent. This time he will try to maintain his blistering form from the BBL. His inclusion will give extra strength in batting as well as in bowling for his side.

Marcus Stoinis

Image Source – stuff.co.nz

Another player of Australia who could make a difference is none other than Marcus Stonis. One of the go-to all-rounders, Stoinis is a hard-hitting batsman, as well as, he has death over bowling skill. He has a batting average of 42.47 with a strike rate of 96 and also has a bowling economy of 6.06 in ODI which makes him an important player in the squad. In the shortest format of the game, he has a strike rate of 126.33 with the bat.

Stoinis had a great season in the recently concluded Big Bash League as he scored 533 runs at an average of 53.3 and took 14 wickets. He also guided his team Melbourne Stars to the finals.

He has been in a formidable form. Moreover, he has played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and his experience and current form can pose a great threat to the opponents.

Kuldeep Yadav

Image Source – Scroll.in

The one player who has the ability to turn the table single-handedly is Kuldeep Yadav. He has been in a tremendous form for the last couple of years. He has 77 scalps from 39 ODIs and 35 wickets from 18 T20Is so far.

Currently no. 2 among bowlers in the ICC T20I Ranking, Yadav has been an integral part of the squad for the last couple of years. He took two four-wicket hauls in the recently concluded series against New Zealand in ODI and picked up two wickets in the last T20I encounter against New Zealand. He has the ability to take wickets in the crucial times and can surely make a big difference in this series.

Jhye Richardson

Image Source – ICC Cricket

Jhye Richardson is another addition in the players’ list who will play an important role in the upcoming series. He came into limelight after his stunning spell of 4/26 against India in Sydney. He has picked up 13 wickets with an average of 29.46 from the 13 ODIs so far. He has also 9 wickets from 7 T20I matches in his name.

This is his first tour to sub-continent and this series will help him to grow as a bowler. This series will play a crucial role for him prior to the team selection of the upcoming World Cup.

This series will be interesting as Australia will try to take revenge for their loss in their home soil in the recently concluded series whereas India will try to continue their winning streak.

India equals the series with a thumping win over New Zealand

India equals the series with a thumping win over New Zealand

India kept the hope alive of T20I series win by registering a comfortable 7-wicket win in the second T20 International match against New Zealand at Auckland on Friday. 

New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first. Seifert and Munro started the innings. New Zealand were looking for a flying start but they didn’t get the start. Only when Seifert started hitting big, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and India quickly got rid of him. Tim Seifert, who scored 84 in the first game, scored a boundary and an over-boundary before getting dismissed.

Then it was Krunal Pandya, who struck twice in his first over. He first took Colin Munro, who tried to cover the in-field but failed to do so. The catch came at a great pace towards Rohit Sharma at the cover, who took that easily. On the last ball of the over, he trapped Daryl Mitchell before the stumps.

New Zealand captain Williamson became the third victim of Krunal Pandya in the eighth over. Williamson got dismissed after scoring 20 off 17 and New Zealand were reduced to 60/4 after 10 overs.

Then, all-rounder, Colin de Grandhomme came to his side’s rescue, smashed his maiden T20I half-century off 27 balls which included four sixes and one boundary. He, along with Ross Taylor anchored the innings till 15.4 overs. Both of them added 77-run before de Grandhomme misjudged the delivery and ended up giving an easy catch to Rohit Sharma at extra cover.

Krunal Pandya was the pick of bowlers, ending the innings with 3/28. Left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed finished with figures of 2/27 as the tourists were successful in stopping the hosts from exploiting Eden Park’s short boundaries.

Then Taylor and Mitchell Santner tried to steady the ship and both added 26 runs. Before they could move further, Vijay Shankar’s direct throw from the deep sent Taylor back in the pavilion. Later Khaleel Ahmed picked two more wickets in the last over and New Zealand ended up scoring 158 after 20 overs.

Krunal Pandya bagged 3 wickets while Khaleel Ahmed took two. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya scalped one each for India.

Chasing 159, India got off to a flying start. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan stated the innings at full pace and started dealing with boundaries and over-boundaries. In the 4th over when Rohit hit Kuggeleijn for a six at fine-leg, he completed his 100th six in T20Is.

Currently, he is placed second of hitting sixes (102). Martin Guptill and Chris Gayle are ahead of him with 103 sixes. He reached his 16th T20 half-century in the 9th over. With this, he became the highest run-scorer in T20I as well as the most 50+ scorer in the shortest format of the game.

But his stormy 50 off 29 came to an end when he got dismissed off Ish Sodhi. Dhawan, at the other end, was looking not much comfortable and scored only 30 off 31 with two boundaries before getting out. Earlier, both the openers added 79-run partnership, which became the Most partnership runs (1480).

Rishabh Pant came to bat at No. 3 today and tried to build a partnership with Vijay Shankar; who scored one boundary and a six in his 8-ball 14. Vijay Shankar’s dismissal brought MS Dhoni on the field. Both played with caution where Dhoni was rotating the strike and Pant was dealing with big shots. They both added 44-run through a steady association and ensured India’s win with 7 balls to spare.

Virat Kohli makes history with clean sweep of three top ICC honours

Kohli-Dhoni set the stage of India's win over Australia

India captain Virat Kohli has scripted history by making a clean sweep of three ICC awards. He became the first player to win all three top awards in a year. 

Kohli is going strong day by day. He has been in a formidable form for the last couple of years. His stupendous performances not only helped him to earn the three top awards but he was named International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Player of The Year also; alongside the captain of the Test and ODI team on Tuesday.

He amassed 1,322 runs in 13 Tests which came at an average of 55.08, including five centuries last year while he scored 1202 runs in 14 ODIs at an impressive average of 133.55 which includes six tons. In 10 T20Is, he smashed 211 runs. While talking about this to ICC, Kohli expressed that the feeling is great and he shared his happiness too as the team has really well during the calendar year.

“It feels amazing. It’s a reward for all the hard work that you do throughout the calendar year,” Kohli was quoted in an ICC press release. “I feel really grateful and very, very happy with the team doing well at the same time myself performing. Having recognition at the global level from the ICC is something you feel proud of as a cricketer because you understand that there are many players playing the game.”

Kohli finished the year as the highest run-getter in both the longer format and the limited-over games. He was one of only two batsmen to smash more than 1,000 runs in Tests and only among three to do the same in ODIs. He further added that this honour is really a pride for him which keeps him going and motivates to do better.

“To be rewarded in this manner from amongst all of them is obviously a very proud moment for me and something that gives you more motivation to keep repeating the same things because you have to keep the standard of cricket up and keep bringing in consistent performances. From that point of view, these awards give you that extra motivation.”

Kohli had already won the Sir Garfield Trophy and ICC ODI Player of the Year awards last year also. He was also the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2012 as well.

Along with Kohli, India’s wicket-keeper in the longer format, Rishabh Pant too was named the Emerging Player of the Year by ICC. His stellar performances with the bat as well as behind the stumps helped Pant to earn this honour.

The 21-year-old Pant became the first Indian wicket-keeper to smash a Test century in England as well as in Australia. Moreover, he equalled the record of the most catches taken in a Test, with 11 against Australia in Adelaide last year.

Apart from Kohli and Pant, Scotland’s Calum MacLeod was awarded the ‘ICC Associate Player of the Year’ for his wonderful century against Afghanistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier and smashing 140 in Scotland’s win over England. Australia player Aaron Finch won the ‘T20I Performance of the Year’ for his smashing 172 against Zimbabwe in Harare in July last year. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was named the ‘ICC Spirit of Cricket award’ and Kumar Dharmasena was awarded the ‘Umpire of the Year’.

ICC Men’s Test Team Of The Year: Tom Latham (New Zealand), Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Virat Kohli (India) (c), Henry Nicholls (New Zealand), Rishabh Pant (India) (wk), Jason Holder (Windies), Kagiso Rabada (South Africa), Nathan Lyon (Australia), Jasprit Bumrah (India), Mohammad Abbas (Pakistan).

ICC Men’s ODI Team Of The Year: Rohit Sharma (India), Jonny Bairstow (England), Virat Kohli (India) (c), Joe Root (England), Ross Taylor (New Zealand), Jos Buttler (England) (wk), Ben Stokes (England), Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Kuldeep Yadav (India), Jasprit Bumrah (India).

Australia-India: Best banters from the Test series

Best banters from the Australia-India series

The recently concluded Australia- India Test Series was not only known for an epic Indian win, which has surely made its mark in cricketing history, but also for its witty, flamboyant, and almost legendary banter battle. 

Leading from the front was Australian captain Tim Paine, who did not spare anyone who dared cross his path. However, the Indian cricketers did not back down as well, giving us, the spectators, an absolute riot.

Here are the best banters from the series.

Nathan Lyon- Hanuma Vihari/ Ishant Sharma

Image Source – ABC

During the second innings of the match at Perth, when Australia was closing in on a win, Lyon decided to poke some fun at the Indian cricketers. It started off with him taking on Hanuma Vihari.

After his over with India, Lyon walked up to Vihari and said,

“Where are you going for your Christmas holiday? I hear Hamilton Island is a nice place.”

Later on, with 2 wickets left in the game, Lyon had his turn with Ishant Sharma, directly asking him

“Ishant what do you want? What are you looking for?”

Also Read: All the Records made in the series

Tim Paine- Murali Vijay

The recently concluded Australia- India Test Series was not only known for an epic Indian win, which has surely made its mark in cricketing history, but also for its witty, flamboyant, and almost legendary banter battle. 
Image Source – SportsKeeda

Tim Paine and Virat Kohli had quite a few run-ins with each other in the Test match at Perth, resulting in the Indian skipper ‘bumping’ into him while he was taking a single. Perturbed no doubt, Paine was heard asking Murali Vijay

“Murali, I know he’s your captain but you can’t seriously like him? You can’t seriously like the bloke.”

The incident occurred after Kohli’s dismissal when India was struggling at 48/3.

Tim Paine- Rishabh Pant

The recently concluded Australia- India Test Series was not only known for an epic Indian win, which has surely made its mark in cricketing history, but also for its witty, flamboyant, and almost legendary banter battle. 
Image Source – Times Now

No doubt, this was the most entertaining and most popular sledging incident of the game. Paine began to diss Pant’s non-selection in the ODI squad, asking him to babysit his kids while he took his wife to the movies at Melbourne.

 “Surely, extend your little Aussie holiday. Beautiful town Hobart, too. We’ll get you a nice apartment on the waterfront. We’ll have him over for dinner. Can you babysit? I’ll take the wife to the movies one night, you’ll look after the kids,”

Pant repaid the gesture during the second innings, while seemingly talking to Ravindra Jadeja. Pant said,

“We have got a special guest here. Have you heard the word temporary captain ever? You [Jadeja] don’t need anything to get him out. Come on lads. He loves to talk, that’s the only thing he can do. Only talking, talking.”

Later on, when the Indian team was invited by the Australian Prime Minister, Paine’s wife joined the joke as well, putting up a picture with Rishabh Pant with her children, and captioning it

“Best Babysitter.”

Tim Paine- Rohit Sharma

The recently concluded Australia- India Test Series was not only known for an epic Indian win, which has surely made its mark in cricketing history, but also for its witty, flamboyant, and almost legendary banter battle. 
Image Source – SportsKeeda

Paine did not miss a chance to get with Rohit Sharma as well, jibing at his pressure to keep a spot on the Test side. Seemingly talking to Aaron Finch, who was fielding at short-leg, Paine said.

“It’s been a toss up for me between Royals and Indians, and if Rohit hits a six here, I am changing to Mumbai,”

Rohit Sharma admitted to hearing the sledge, saying that

“I was hearing that but when I’m batting, I just focus on the job at hand. But, I had a chat with Ajinkya Rahane and I joked that if he (Paine) gets a hundred here, I will put in a word about him to my boss at Mumbai Indians and we’ll buy him. Looks like he’s a fan of Mumbai.”

Australia vs India: Five Talking Points from the Sydney Test

Australia vs India: Five Talking Points from the Sydney Test

Team India paved their way into the history books by recording a monumental victory in Australia. Never had any Asian team won a Test series in Australia, until now. 

But Virat Kohli‘s Indian team finally made it possible with the win at the Sydney Cricket Ground. A collective effort by the batsmen, mostly Cheteshwar Pujara and the bowlers made it possible. Jasprit Bumrah swung the victory’s way with a bowling average of 17 in the series. His tally of 21 wickets is also the second-most by an India fast bowler in a series in the SENA countries. 


The Australian batsmen were in terrible, and the bowlers couldn’t do much to stop the Indian batsmen either. India toured Australia for the first time in 1947/48, and 71 years later this Indian team brings back home the glory of an overseas win in Australia.

Cheteshwar Pujara, leading with the willow

Image Source – Times Now

In the 2-1 series win against Australia, Cheteshwar Pujara leads the charts in the most number of runs scored. Not only did he win the Man of the match award for his 193 in the Sydney Test, but he was also adjudged as the Man of the series. “During IPL, I might be playing county cricket. Next Test series is 6-7 months away. Will give me enough time to prepare. I’ll work hard on my game to play white-ball cricket. But Test cricket is my priority, it’ll always remain my priority,” Pujara said in the post-match presentation. 

Also Read: All the Records made in the series

India enforced the follow-on on Australian for only the second time in history

Australia’s embarrassing performance against India at the SCG is made worse when you consider the history behind India enforcing the follow-on on day four. It marks the first time in almost 31 years since Australia has been sent back in by the opposition to bat again immediately after being dismissed in the first innings, on home soil. The last time it happened was against England in Sydney in January 1988, in a one-off Test match.

Virat Kohli’s men need to step up more like this time

Image Source – Sportskeeda

Despite Kohli not being in his prime, he was the third among all batsmen in the series. Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant finished ahead of him with 521 and 350 runs respectively. In comparison to the 2014-15 tour, where he scored 692 runs, Kohli’s tally of 282 seemed faint, but his century in Perth on a fiery track – although in a losing cause – was commendable. This series was a proof that Kohli can sometimes step back as a match winner and concentrate more on his captaincy. 

Rishabh Pant, the newest Indian prodigy

Image Source – cricketaddictor.com

Pant’s unbeaten 159 at the SCG is the fifth occurrence of an Indian wicketkeeper scoring a hundred outside the sub-continent. Also, the first to do so in Australia. Pant went past Farokh Engineer’s 89 at the Adelaide Oval in 1967 for the highest score by an Indian wicketkeeper in Australia. He also holds the record for the highest individual score by an Indian wicketkeeper in England. Pant’s unbeaten 159 in the Sydney Test is the highest by a wicketkeeper from an Asian side outside the sub-continent. 

The brilliance of the Indian spinners

Image Source – Deccan Chronicle

Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav shared five wickets between them and were at their tenacious best across the two and more sessions that were bowled before bad light set in. Virat Kohli couldn’t take the second new ball, but to be fair, he didn’t need to. The Indian spinners were bowling brilliantly and it was more than evident. Even though rain marred the last day and made the play impossible at the SCG, Australia couldn’t make anything out of their first innings which led to the follow-on. It’s fair to say, the home team were just relieved of a 3-1 defeat.