Virat Kohli Received Double Honours in 2019 Wisden

The reputation of Virat Kohli as an outstanding cricketer has been further enriched by a series of accolades from the 2019 edition of the Wisden Cricketers Almanack that was published earlier this week.

The Accolades of Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli, who is going to lead the World Cup campaign for India in England, has recently been voted the leading cricketer of the world for 3 consecutive years after receiving the vote again in 2019. He has also managed to receive one accolade that has been eluding him for most of his career, getting voted as one of the Five Cricketers of the Year by Wisden, which is considered the oldest award on an individual level within the world of cricket.

Wisden Cricket Accolades Worth Mentioning

Sam Curran and Jos Buttler were also voted as one of the five cricketers after their vital roles in the summer campaigns for England along with Rory Burns, who is the championship-winning captain for Surrey, as well as Tammy Beaumont, who is another phenomenal player from the England cricket team on the women’s side.

The fellow Indian of Kohli, Smriti Mandhana, has been voted the leading cricketer when it comes to the women’s cricket game after she managed to rake in 1,291 runs in limited-over formats which included 13 half-centuries. The Afghanistan leg spinner, Rashid Khan, has been voted as the leading T20 cricketer for 2 consecutive years now.

However, Kohli was undoubtedly the dominant figure in the world of cricket for 2018, accumulating 2,735 runs on an international level at 68.37 on all formats. This is more than 700 runs than the nearest challenger who is Joe Root from the England squad.

During that time, Kohli managed to score a phenomenal 11 centuries during 37 innings, 7 of which were accumulated during India’s tour of Australia, England, and South Africa, each considered the most difficult venues for batsmen that travel overseas. His form was particularly outstanding during the Test tour of England even though India suffered a 4-1 defeat in the series. Kohli made a total of 593 runs in 5 Tests with a total of 59.30 which included hundreds at both Trent Bridge and Edgbaston.

Comments from Wisden

Wisden recently stated that “influence on, or excellence in, the previous summer in England was the major criteria for inclusion when it comes to Cricketer of the Year”, and due to the fact that Kohli has managed only 134 runs at a rate of 13.40 during his previous test tour that occurred in 2014, this was essentially his first real chance to finally claim the exclusive honour. This is not like the Leading Cricketer award which can only be achieved once in the career of a player.

“In spite of his losing side, Virat Kohli as the Indian captain managed to shine with his bat, eliminating his struggles that he endured during 2014 in England,” stated Lawrence Booth who is the editor for Wisden.

India Squad for World Cup to be Announced on 15 April 2019

The World Cup squad for India will be announced on 15 April 2019 in Mumbai. The announcement will likely see Virat Kohli attend the meeting as the captain for India. He will also be leading the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their game against Mumbai Indians on the same night.

The Selection of the Indian Cricket Team

Even though the ICC provided a deadline to announce World Cup squads up until 23 April 2019, it’s understood that the selectors of India want their players to receive additional time to adequately prepare themselves for the upcoming tournament that the team last won during 2011 while playing at home.

The chairman of the selection committee in India, MSK Prasad, pointed out in early February that the panel managed to shortlist around 20 players where 15 final players would be selected. “There might be an instance where the final spot will be given at the last minute. However, we are quite clear when it comes to the rest of the team,” Prasad stated in an interview to reporters.

Prasad also made it very clear that the selection panel won’t consider IPLK form to fill the vacant spots, “since we already made our minds up”. “We will only observe a player’s performance if we believe that they should be selected for the squad. We already have a list of 20 phenomenal players and will follow the form of each player to make our decision,” Prasad stated recently.

Kohli also reiterated the statement before the home ODI series where they faced Australia in March, stating that both the selectors and team management need to be clear regarding the team they wish to take to the cricket World Cup. “I highly doubt anything will change going forward, regardless of the IPL performances from each player. Should a handful of players not enjoy a good IPL season, it won’t eliminate them from being chosen for the cricket World Cup. This will not affect at the end.”

The last ODI tournament for India was the Australian series before the start of the World Cup, and they, unfortunately, lost 3-2 even though they won the first two games. After the tournament, Kohli insisted that India wasn’t panicking. “As a team, we are quite sorted,” Kohli stated.

The main question about the team selection is primary around the 4th batsmen for the Indian side as well as the place for the second all-rounded following Hardik Pandya. There’s no denying that Vijay Shankar was in excellent form during the New Zealand series which has raised the bar for him taking the spot as opposed to Ravindra Jadeja who hasn’t performed too well since the Asia Cup.

The other talking point is based on the fast-bowling attackers. As it stands, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah are certainties. Pandya might play the role of seamer part-time, but then India sits with a 4th specialist seamer.

Hashim Amla Will Make a Comeback to Cricket in the CSA T20 Challenge

Hashim Amla is finally making his return to the world of cricket when he plays for the Cape Cobras in the upcoming T20 for Cricket South Africa, coach Ashwell Prince announced on Thursday in Cape Town. Prince has also confirmed that CSA is hoping that Alma might be able to participate in a short spell taking place in England ahead of the Cricket World Cup.

However, Amla wants to stay in South Africa to ensure he is around his ailing father. “Hashim Amla is available,” Ashwell Prince stated at Newlands. “As per my knowledge, the CSA would have preferred Amla to play in the United Kingdom, but he wants to stay at home due to his father.”

Hashim Amla’s Current Situation

The Cape Cobras are set to play a total of 5 games during the domestic T20 before the South Africa squad for the World Cup is announced on 18 April 2019. The opening tournament on Sunday against the Lions will be the first participation for Amla in competitive cricket since 1 March 2019. Hashim Amla last played for the South African cricket team in February when they faced Sri Lanka in two Tests. After that, he was given compassionate leave from the team to be with his father that is currently ill.

Amla’s situation has improved slightly since then. The 36-year-old is currently short of a match and form ahead of the deadline announcement for the South African cricket squad for the World Cup. His place in the cricket squad isn’t settled as of yet, and Linda Zondi, the selection convener for the CSA, told reporters that the process of selecting the team is giving him nights without any sleep.

Amla Is Ready to Play Again

Amla began his season in a horrible form where he averaged only 10.14 with his bat along with two ducks in 7 innings in the Mzansi Super League while playing for Durban Heat before he turned things around with big runs. This included a 27th ODI hundred when Pakistan paid a visit. After spending time away from cricket to be with his father, Amla made his return to cricket this week at Durban and will fly to Cape Town where he is set to join the Cape Cobras before their initial game during the T20 Challenge by the CSA. Ashwell Prince thinks that the cricket tournament will give Amla valuable time to get back into form before the cricket World Cup.

“I don’t believe an extension in innings has ever been an issue for Hashim,” Prince stated. “It’s necessarily all about getting in. During the Mzansi Super League, Amla couldn’t manage it, which occurred after a long lay-off. I still believe there’s a place for someone to bat throughout the innings, and Amla is very capable of achieving that. There’s a chance Amla can bat through the innings. Even if he does half of it, it will be good enough in terms of batting.”

South Africa Complete 3-0 Sweep Following Huge DLS Victory

The final limited-overs game of the tour followed the same form and style of so many games that these two teams played in the last few weeks. For instance, Sri Lanka couldn’t make regular breakthroughs to the innings of South Africa as Dwaine Pretorius, and Reeza Hendricks managed to combine to accumulate 90 for the 2nd wicket. South Africa then went on to provide a solid finish where JP Duminy managed to score 34 runs off 14 balls. This allowed South Africa to surge to a 198 for two from only 20 overs.

Sri Lanka’s Poor Performance

In terms of batting, there’s no denying that Sri Lanka was poor yet again. Niroshan Dickwella managed to offer a fast start, accumulating 38 runs from only 22 balls. However, this is where it stopped as the rest of the batting line up simply collapsed. Sri Lanka was five wickets down with just 41 runs before Isuru Udana managed to make his charge, hitting four sixes to accumulate 36 runs from 23 balls. However, a win was impossible for Sri Lanka even when Udana was on the field. Once he was bowled out, all hope was lost as the four wickets followed with no additional runs from the team.

The only feature of the game that set it apart from the other matches that were previously played between the two teams was the rain delay, taking more than 70 minutes from the match which shortened the innings of Sri Lanka by three overs. Before the rain delay, Sri Lanka was six down and needed 88 runs from 53 balls. Once the rain delay came to an end, Sri Lanka required 72 runs from 35 balls.

South Africa’s Excellence

South Africa managed to produce a match-defining stand at the second wicket, precisely the same way they did in the previous game. Even though Rassie van der Dussen, who formed part of the incredible partnership during the second T20 match, was resting for this match, Hendricks as opener managed to get his second consecutive 50, joining Pretorius at the other end this time, who also managed to produce the best innings of the match with 77 runs from 42 balls not out.

The partnership between the two batsmen was formed during the 6th over where South Africa boasted with over six as their run-rate. However, the team decided to take the innings by the collar, allowing the partnership to accumulate 90 runs from only 55 balls. Neither the seam of spin from Sri Lanka’s bowling was spared.

Henricks was eventually bowled out during the 15th over by Vandersay, but that only opened the door for more incredible gameplay. Pretorius smashed the ball for three successive fours before he hit another six and a four after that. Duminy also managed to make his presence felt during the 18th over. South Africa managed to prove once again that they are the top-rated cricket team when it comes to T20’s.

Sri Lanka to Face South Africa in T20 International

Despite the alterations in format, the primary focus for both Sri Lanka and South Africa will remain on the 50-over World Cup. The Proteas selected the same team for the first T20 International as they did for the ODI. Linda Zondi, the national selector, stated that Cricket South Africa will regard the game as yet another stepping stone to complete their Vision 2019 campaign. This is essentially their grand plan for success at the World Cup.

South Africa

Faf du Plessis, the captain of the South African cricket team, stated that he is 99.9% sure regarding the team he will take with him to the cricket tournament in England. All the changing and chopping of South Africa throughout a generally prosperous and long home summer has provided the team with a decent idea of which player does what. The Proteas have managed to regain confidence and form during the ODI’s. Although their focus is somewhere else, their T20 International outfit will be complicated to defeat.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka seemed to have retreated since their rare victory that managed to open the tour. The glory and triumph of their remarkable Test series look like a distant memory following their 5-0 win in the ODI’s. The team is also currently facing yet another crisis when it comes to coaching. Chandika Hathurusingha has been requested to return to Sri Lanka, while Steve Rixon, the fielding coach, will fill in to act as the head coach during the T20 Internationals.

Sri Lanka has been unable to succeed in one-day cricket, and they need to cover plenty of ground to make up for it during the 20-over format successfully. Sri Lanka is currently ranked 9th in the 20-over format, placing them below Afghanistan. They only managed to win 6 out of the past 20 matches when it comes to T20Is. Before they can truly focus on the World Cup, they will need to get their squad in order.

Conditions and Pitch

Summer is coming to an end in South Africa. However, the weather should be beautiful in Cape Town during the tournament. The surface at Newlands is usually on the slow side. However, before the final day of the 5th ODI, fast bowlers from Sri Lanka and South Africa enjoyed both bounce and pace so that anything can happen this time around too. The last time a T20I was played at Newlands was when South Africa faced Pakistan in February where South Africa accumulated 192 for 6. This is considered the highest total recorded at the venue when it comes to T20Is.

Stats

No cricket player has scored a century at Newlands during a T20I. JP Duminy has the highest recorded T20I runs at Newlands, scoring 229 runs from 7 matches. Sri Lanka has enjoyed two T20 Internationals in Cape Town, losing to Australia in 2007 and defeating South Africa in 2017.

England Defeats West Indies in Second T20 International

Sam Billings managed to rescue England before the four-wicket haul from Chris Jordan to demolish the West Indies for 45. This provided England with a 137-run win during the second T20 International and an incontrovertible 2-0 lead in the cricket series.

Sam Billings and Joe Root

Sam Billings was the Man of the Match, knocking a career-best of 87 from 47 balls and a T20I return from Joe Root who managed to make 55 off 40 balls. This allowed the England squad to be resurrected from a mere 32 for four after only 5.2 overs.

Then Jordan’s incredible four from 6 overs meant that the West Indies were never actually in the contest. They are falling for the second lowest total in T20I history, behind the 39 runs made by the Netherlands against Sri Lanka in 2014 during the World T20. It’s considered the lowest total from a Full-Member nation. This is worse than the 60 runs accumulated by New Zealand when they played against Sri Lanka in the T20I and the 60 runs made by West Indies in Karachi last year against Pakistan.

While the top order was tumbling around Root, he managed to produce a genuinely composed innings where he shared an 82-run partnership with Sam Billings to accumulate his half-century. This was the first time Joe Root managed to reach double figures in 4 T20 International innings. He also had his 10th knock since he last managed to reach 50 during the World T20 Final in 2016 which was won by West Indies.

Once Joe Root was run-out, the rescue mission fell to Sam Billings, and he accepted it willingly. Sam Billings managed to rake up 17 runs in one over from Sheldon Cottrell which included a 6 to provide his half-century.

Carlos Brathwaite was economical throughout the first three overs where he claimed 1 for 11. However, he conceded a total of 22 during his last over which included three fours to Sam Billings and a 6 to David Willey. The partnership between Billings and Willey provided 68 runs before Billings was dismissed. By the time Billings was denied, he had managed to lead England to a phenomenal total. The West Indies won the coin toss and requested that England go on the pitch, anticipating that the ground will improve as the game unfolded. However, the West Indies were not on the ball long enough for this to occur.

England Dismissals

David Willey continued to press during the match, snaring the wicket of Gayle for only five which was caught by Joe Root in mid-on. He also managed to knock out Hope. After that, Jordan went crazy, claiming wickets of Jason Holder and Darren Brova with consecutive balls. He also led to dismiss Allen and Nicholas Pooran during his second over. The damage was done, allowing Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid to clean up the tail end of the West Indies batting force. This provided England with the most significant T20 International victory within 12 overs.

Test Cricket Will Never Die

Shashank Manohar, the ICC chairman, might feel that test cricket is dying. However, the chief executive for global cricket, David Richardson, states that he has numbers to prove that the statement from Manohar is entirely wrong. According to Richardson, after an ICC survey was conducted in 2018, Test cricket has a committed and active fan base of approximately 700 million. This is around 68% of the fan pool on a global scale of more than a billion.

World Test Championship

Without countering the ICC chairman. Richardson stated that Manohar was merely suggesting that Test cricket is dying for a context, and the upcoming World Test Championship will be able to provide that context.

“We are attempting to see if the Test championship will be able to generate interest,” Manohar stated during a visit to Bangladesh that took place earlier this month. “Because Test cricket is essentially dying if I need to be completely honest.”

Manohar also stated that cricket fans find it extremely difficult to attend a five-day match. Therefore much instead prefer to watch a T20 game which only lasts around 4 hours. The T20 cricket format has managed to generate keen interest from broadcasters which has been based on the television rating points.

The comments made by Manohar seemed a bit misplaced if you take into account that Test cricket was the centre of attention when it came to significant results and thrilling contests. Consider the match between India and Australia or when the West Indies managed to beat England is a shocking 2-1 win. You can also include Sri Lanka becoming the first Asian team to claim victory in South Africa during a Test series.

However, the format still lacks context that will make fans sit up and notice these matches that don’t involve their favourite teams, according to Richardson. This is something that the World Test Championship will be able to provide.

Comments from David Richardson

“What Manohar was trying to say about Test cricket is that it’s calling for more context.” David Richardson stated to reporters recently in London, during the countdown to the Cricket World Cup. “Some phenomenal matches occur from time to time. However, unless you consider yourself a die-hard fan of all participating teams in the cricketing world, that particular series didn’t have much interest on a global scale.

“Thanks to the introduction of the WTC, that adds far more interests. Assisting in promoting Test cricket around the world, regardless of who is playing on that day. This is what Manohar was trying to say: Test cricket simply needed an extra boost and needs to be promoted which the WTC will hopefully achieve.”

“Perhaps the way fans are following Test cricket is very different to how it was two decades ago. However, I don’t believe it’s dying. Thankfully, the World Test Championship will offer more interest and context to Test cricket which will give it the much-needed boost it deserves.

Chris Gayle Will Retire from ODI’s Following World Cup

Chris Gayle is playing exceptionally well in the ODI series while facing England, and with the World Cup to follow, it’s highly unlikely that a lack of confidence is holding him back.

“You are looking at an exceptional man,” Gayle stated when asked if he was satisfied with his cricketing career. “I am currently the greatest cricket player in the world and still considered the Universe Boss which is something that will never change. I will take that to the grave.”

Chris Gayle’s Career

However, his cricketing career, on an ODI level, is about to come to an end. The next few weeks will see Gayle participate in his last ODI when he visits the Caribbean, while retirement will come after the World Cup campaign comes to an end for West Indies. At the age of 39 and also on the brink of becoming the fourteenth man to score more than 10,000 runs in ODI’s, he finally decided to call it a day. Should he be selected for the World Cup, it will be his fifth tournament in his cricketing career.

“I will draw the line after the next World Cup, “Gayle stated. “With 50-over cricket, it’s the end for me after the World Cup. I’ll give the youngsters the opportunity to have some fun while I sit back and enjoy the game from the party stand. Claiming a win at the World Cup will undoubtedly be a fairy-tale finish. There’s no denying that the youngsters own it to me to claim a victory. They need to do that for me and attempt to claim the trophy for me too. I’ll provide my input in the World Cup as well.”

Thankfully, Gayle hopes that it’s not the end of his cricketing career. Apart from the several T20 commitments he made in the domestic leagues, he hasn’t ruled out appearing in the T20 World Cup which will take place in Australia during 2020.

“It’s simple, if I don’t play, it won’t be considered a tournament,” Gayle stated. “England should invite me over. Once that happens, I’ll explore the competition and thanks, everyone. I’ll be able to set the trend like I managed to do in tournaments across the globe. I’m in perfect condition. My body is feeling fantastic, and I’m pleased about that. I managed to lose a bit of weight and refuse to get too big. Thankfully, there’s still time to work on my six pack. I’m attempting to keep up with the younger players on the field who act like cats when they chase the ball. Fortunately, I still have what is needed, and I still enjoy the game.”

When Chris Gayle and the West Indies managed to defeat England in a recent Test series, Gayle stated that it was one of the best things that ever happened in the last decade. He will be remembered as one of the best cricket players that ever played the sport.

Shannon Gabriel Has Been Suspended for 4 ODI’s Following Joe Root Incident

The fast bowler from the West Indies, Shannon Gabriel, has recently been handed by the ICC a four-game suspension due to his homophobic remark made at Joe Root during the Test in St Lucia. Gabriel plead guilty to this offence and was fined seventy-five percent of his fee and managed to receive 3 demerit points and that put him over the total points needed in terms of a ban.

Shannon Gabriel was also charged with a Level 2 offence which falls under the ICC’s Code of Conduct article 2.13 which covers personal abuse. Once Gabriel accepted the charge, there was not the need to undergo formal hearinga with Jeff Crowe who was the match referee. Even though Gabriel didn’t form part of the original team for the first of several ODI matches against England, he was part of the lineup due to being the one who replaced Keemo Paul.

The Joe Root Incident

Joe Root was heard by stump microphones while he was playing on the third day where he responded to a comment unheard from Shannon Gabriel. Joe Root stated: “You can’t use that as an insult. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with someone being gay.”

The Joe Root incident was handled by umpires on the field at the time it occurred, however Gabriel was only charged the next day following the widespread attention that the review of footage it received. Root stated towards the end that all comments on the field should stay on the field. However, he still received several praises for his stance which included the United Kingdom. equality charity Stonewall.

Gabriel’s Ban

Speaking to reporters before Gabriel’s ban occurred, Trevor Bayliss, the coach for England, repeated his outlook on stump microphones, stating that it should not be on off when deliveries occur. Sarfraz Ahmed also suffered a 4-game suspension when making a racist remark which was the television broadcast picked up.

“I’ve said this plenty of times in the past, I’m not in favour of stump microphones and I won’t change my mind on this matter,” he said. “If microphones on stumps were available a couple of years ago, there would have been plenty of players in trouble as well.

“I believe stump microphones should be removed. I am well aware that some believe that it’s ideal for the game. However, in the heat of battle there will always be words between players. Once that player has the time to think about what he/she said, they will undoubtedly kick themselves for what they said.”

Gabriel previously received 3 demerit point during April of 2017 for physical contact with Sarfraz Ahmed, and received another 2 in November of 2018 when he interfered with Imrul Kayes. When he accumulated over 4 points, he was banned for the test that followed in Dhaka. He currently has 8 points to his name within 2 years, converting to a total of 4 suspension points. This essentially means that he is banned from 2 Tests or 4 limited overs when it comes to internationals.

AB de Villiers Provides Life-Changing Experience for Lutho Sipamla

Lutho Sipamla, a 20-year-old seamer from South Africa, managed to make his international debut during the second T20 International match against Pakistan. He has credited his experience while playing under de Villiers in the MSL as a life-altering one. Although the Tshwane Spartans struggled during their campaign, Lutho Sipamla consistently shined at the top of the innings as well as during the death of his team. This is where he gained irreplaceable experience from his world-renowned captain every step of the way while attracting the attention of several national selectors.

Lutho Sipamla commented that “I managed to gain a world of experience while playing with Ab De Villiers,” Sipamla stated. “Training, sharing the dressing room, and playing beside him was life-altering for me as he managed to keep me calm. Ab de Villiers presence calms you due to the fact that he speaks to you directly and gives you important plans. I learned a great deal from him as he allowed me to set the field how I wanted it at times to assist with my bowling.”

Sipamla managed to find the experience of making his debut in international cricket “impeccable”, and stated that words were insufficient to describe his feelings during his match on Sunday while playing in front of a jam-packed crowd at Wanderers stadium where the top-ranked T20 side in the world was defeated by South Africa to clinch a dominant lead in the 3-match series.

“When I walked onto the pitch in front of a full house, my childhood dream came true, and it was undoubtedly an incredible moment for me,” Sipamla stated after he made his debut. “There aren’t any words to describe the feeling I had at that moment.”

The 20-year-old seamer admitted that he was feeling rather nervous prior to the start of the match. However, he didn’t let it show once he had the ball in his hand. “I was definitely nervous before the match. I guess anyone making their debut for South Africa will be nervous. I merely tried to control my emotions to the best of my ability and soaked everything in.”

Sipamla’s Performance During His Debut

Sipamla didn’t take any wickets during his first international game, but he did manage to look the part as he reined in the batsmen from Pakistan following an explosive start. Sipamla was brought on after Babar Azam accumulated 30 runs from just two overs, Sipamla managed to only give away a total of 5 singles in his debut over which was followed up by an impressive 3 dot balls to Babar.

Faced with a batsman who had an imperious mood on a noticeably dry pitch, Sipamla reduced his pace and simply cut the ball while varying his lengths. The captain of the day, David Miller, required someone that could regain control and Sipamla certainly assisted in that regard as he brought South Africa back into the match during the middle overs. Let’s hope he plays another match before the series comes to an end.

1 2 3 4 5 11