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1st ODI: Holder resists but India ease to win

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Jason Holder scored a crucial half-century but still, West Indies were bowled out on just 176 runs, and once again they failed to play all the 50 overs in an innings.

Yuzvendra Chahal was awarded as Player of the Match for his superb 4-wickets haul.

India chased down the target comfortably with six wickets and 22 overs to spare.

The new full-time appointed skipper Rohit Sharma was the leading run-scorer in the first match, scoring 60 runs off 51 balls.

West Indies      43.5 overs     176 all-out

Holder 57 (71)             Chahal 4-49                                                                                                                                     F. Allen 29 (43)            W. Sundar 3-30                                                                                                                                Pooran 18 (25)             Prasidh 2-29

India      28 overs       178-4

R. Sharma 60 (51)              A. Joseph 2-45                                                                                                              S.K.Yadav  34*(36)            A. Hosein 1-46                                                                                                                          I. Kishan 28 (36)

India registered a convincing victory in their 1000th ODI match under the leadership of their new full-time captain Rohit Sharma.

The Indian bowlers were all over the West Indies batters throughout the 1st innings.

Jason Holder scored an important 78 runs partnership for the 8th wicket to put something on the board for the bowlers to defend.

However, 176 runs wasn’t enough against the brilliant Indian batting lineup.

Team India decided to bowl first after winning yet another toss.

Mohammed Siraj gave India their first breakthrough in only the third over by dismissing Shai Hope for just 8 runs.

Hope got an inside edge straight into the stumps while trying to drive the ball for the 3rd consecutive time.

Washington Sundar then picked up 2 big wickets in a single over to put West Indies in a rebuilding phase early on in their innings.

Sundar dismissed Brandon King on the 2nd while Darren Bravo on the last ball of his over.

After Washington Sundar’s double-wicket over, the second and spinner Yuzvendra Chahal came into the action by dismissing the dangerous Pooran and Pollard on back-to-back deliveries in the 20th over. 

Jason Holder’s excellent knock

West Indies was struggling badly at 79-7 in 23 overs but Holder played a crucial knock to rescue his side.

His partnership with Fabian Allen saved them from getting bowled out under the 100 run mark.

The 78 run partnership between Fabian Allen and Jason Holder helped West Indies to cross the 150 runs mark.

Fabian Allen was caught and bowled by Washington Sundar after scoring important 29 runs for his side.

Jason Holder played an outstanding knock and he tried to add as many runs as possible to the total but his resistance came to end when Prasidh Krishna got him caught behind with a brilliant back of the length outside-off delivery.

Holder tried to play it through the covers but got an edge that went in Pant’s hand.

Holder scored 57 runs off 71 deliveries including 4 fours.

Yuzvendra Chahal claimed an excellent 4-wicket haul while Washington Sundar also picked up 3 wickets. 

Superb start from Rohit

India had a very bright start to their chase as Rohit Sharma played an outstanding knock of 60 runs off just 51 balls.

He shared an 84 run stand with Ishan Kishan for the first wicket.

Rohit was more aggressive as he smashed 10 fours and a six in his knock.

Ishan Kishan also scored 28 runs off 36 balls before getting caught out at the boundary on Akeal Hosein’s delivery in the 17th over. 

SKY and Hooda get India over the line

After the dismissal of Rohit the former skipper Virat Kohli also had a short stay at the crease and India lost some quick wickets in that period.

India has a tiny collapse from 84-0 to 116-4 but the target wasn’t big enough to bother team India.

Suryakumar Yadav and the debutant Deepak Hooda batted nicely to get India over the line comfortably in just 28 overs.

Yadav remained unbeaten on 36 runs off 34 balls while Deepak Hooda also scored a not-out 26 runs off 32 balls. 

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Harsha Bhogle gives major update on Dharamshala’s weather for fifth Test between India and England

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Harsha Bhogle

Harsha Bhogle gave a major update on Dharamshala’s weather for the five days of the commencement of the 5th Test between India and England. The popular commentator and analyst took to his X account and claimed that he is set to go to the venue in the coming days and claimed to have checked the forecast for the Test between India and England.

“I am due to go to Dharamshala in a week,” wrote Bhogle on X. The fifth Test of the series will be taking place from the 7th of March to the 11th of March. Harsha claimed that just reading the forecast made him shiver. “I checked the forecast today and just reading that makes me shiver,” wrote Harsha on his social media handle. The tweet of Harsha has gone viral on X.

The analysts further added that the temperature in Dharamshala is likely to be 10 degrees centigrade at maximum. While Bhogle hoped it would change, he added that the temperature at the morning in the venue would be two degrees centigrade. The maximum temperature forecast for March 07 (at this stage, hopefully, it will change) is 10°. The temperature forecast at 7 am is 2°! Snow??” added Bhogle on X.

Will England have any advantage?

As soon as Bhogle gave the update on X, the fans started claiming that England could have an advantage given the weather. There has been an opinion that the lack of sunshine could help their pace attack more than that of India. England possess a serious weapon in James Anderson who is known to get unreal swing in overcast conditions.

In addition to the experienced pacer, England has three more talented pacers. While Mark Wood can be effective with his express pace, the likes of Ollie Robinson and Gus Atkinson could prove handy as well. The fans also felt that India had an attack to counter that of England. Either way, the 5th Test is set to be a no-dud, as it could be valuable for the teams keeping in mind the points for the WTC.

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Former Under 19 winning captain claims Big Bash league similar to Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

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Unmukt Chand

Unmukt Chand has made a huge claim on the Big Bash League. The former Under19 World Cup-winning captain of India claimed that the BBL is similar to the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The fans are divided over the statement of the USA player. While some believe that his context is right, others feel that he has exaggerated his opinion on the BBL. Many consider it to be a top league in cricket.

Unmukt did accept the fact that BBL is big in its own way. But he felt that the IPL is on a different level altogether. Chand felt that the best players in the world take part in the IPL. The former DC player claimed that the management in the league is different from that of the other leagues. Chand claimed the IPL to be ten times bigger than the other leagues.

The former U19-winning WC skipper played a lot in the BBL. He represented Melbourne Renegades in the league. Having played in the league in the past, he added that BBL in Australia is good in its own way. Unmukt was of the opinion that Australia is a great place to play cricket. He felt that Australia has people who love the sport a lot.

Unmukt Chand’s comparison of BBL with the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

Chand felt that Australia had good ground, wicket, and stadiums. “I mean playing the Big Bash in Australia is anyways great. It is a great place to play cricket where you know you have your sport, you have your sports-loving people, they come and watch and good grounds, good stadiums, good wicket,” added Chand in his statement on Australia and BBL.

Chand claimed that BBL is similar to India’s Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy. He claimed BBL to be more of its top T20 tournament than a big T20 league like the IPL. “But Big Bash was more like it’s Cricket Australia’s premier tournament like you know we have a Syed Mushtaq Ali in India. So, it’s that but obviously done at a bigger stage,” said Unmukt Chand.

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Will Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer remain in contention for national selection? Explained

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Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan

In a major move, the Indian Cricket Board has decided to terminate the central contracts of Jharkhand wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan and Mumbai batter Shreyas Iyer. This decision can be seen as walking the talk by the board, as players were seen avoiding crucial instructions from both the board and team management.

Now, a major question arises: will Kishan and Iyer remain in contention for further national selections? This is important as both have been key members of the Indian cricket team in the last few months. Kishan’s participation in the Asia Cup 2023 and Iyer’s in the ODI World Cup 2023 have been phenomenal for India. So, will they be in contention?

The answer is yes. Despite being omitted from the Board’s central contracts for the 2023–24 season, both will remain eligible for selection to the national team. The duo’s exclusion from the annual contracts was a result of their reported defiance of directives to participate in the Ranji Trophy. It prompts the board’s decision not to consider them for the prestigious contracts.

However, the national selection depends on various factors, which certainly do not include the central contract. Players like Sarfaraz Khan and Dhruv Jurel are playing for India without a central contract. Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer’s comeback will depend on the team’s needs and their performance in the domestic and the Indian Premier League in 2024.

Who has received central contracts for India?

The central contract announcement revealed that the Grade A+ category, which houses elite players, included stalwarts such as captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja. In the Grade A category, veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, pacers Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, as well as batters KL Rahul and Shubman Gill, secured central contracts.

Hardik Pandya, who led the Indian T20I squad in 2023, earned a Grade A contract, emphasising his crucial role in the team. On a positive note, the central contracts did introduce new faces like Rinku Singh and Tilak Varma, securing places in the Grade C category alongside 15 players. The category also welcomed the comeback duo Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shivam Dube, who showcased strong performances in the Indian T20I team.

The Grade B contracts included Rishabh Pant, alongside Suryakumar Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, and Yashasvi Jaiswal. Pant’s return is anticipated in the upcoming Indian Premier League, while Suryakumar continues to shine as a promising batter in the T20 format.

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