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3rd ODI: Kohli fails again, Indian complete sweep

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India completed an outstanding clean sweep against the struggling West Indies side.

Once again, India managed to come back after the failure of the top order in this series.

India lost their top 3 on just 42 runs but excellent half-centuries from Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant brought them back into the game.

Deepak Chahar and Washington Sundar played crucial cameos in the lower order to help their side pass the 260 run mark.

Jason Holder grabbed 4 important wickets from his spell. 

India      50 overs      265 all-out

S. Iyer 80 (111)            Holder 4-34                                                                                                                                          R. Pant 56 (54)             Joseph 2-54

West Indies  37.1 overs   169 all-out 

Smith 36 (18)              Krishna 3-27                                                                                                                           Pooran 34 (39)           M. Siraj 3-29

The West Indies batting lineup failed once again in this series as the Indian bowlers wrappedthem up on just 169 runs.

The seamers bowled brilliantly against the top and middle order of their opponent.

West Indies were 7 down on just 82 runs but some small contributions from Odean Smith and Alzari Joseph drag them to 169 runs.

The Indian bowlers were outstanding throughout the series as they didn’t allow their opponent to cross the 200 run mark even once in the series. 

The Top order fails once again

The experienced Shikhar Dhawan returned to the side but still, the top order collapsed once again in this series.

Alzarri Joseph hurts India badly early on by picking up two huge wickets in the 4th over of the innings.

He dismissed the big guns of the Indian batting lineup; Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the same over.

Rohit got an inside edge into the middle stump after scoring only 13 runs.

After the gap of only delivery, Virat Kohli nicked a leg-side gift through to Hope.

Virat Kohli was dismissed for a duck for the 32nd time in his overall International career.

Shikhar Dhawan was also not looking comfortable in his comeback game.

After scoring only 10 runs from 36 balls, Dhawan managed to top-edge on a short delivery from Smith that went straight into the hands of Jason Holder at first slip. 

The superb partnership between Iyer and Pant 

After losing 3 wickets for just 42 runs, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant rescued their side by putting up an excellent 110 runs stand for the 4th wicket.

Iyer returned with an excellent knock and he was well supported by Rishabh Pant who also smashed a half-century.

Rishabh Pant departed after scoring 56 runs from just 54 balls. 

On the other hand, Shreyas Iyer continued his brilliant knock even after the departure of Pant and Suryakumar Yadav.

Iyer was looking to beat the long-off fielder by smashing the ball over his head but he didn’t get to the pitch of the ball and due to lack of power behind the shot, he got caught out at long-off.

He played a magnificent knock 80 runs from 111 deliveries and he surely missed a well-deserved hundred.

But the half-centuries from Pant and Iyer allowed India to reach 265 runs despite losing all the 10 wickets. 

The bowlers shine again 

India was brilliant with the ball in all the 3 matches of this series and today they once again defended a total that wasn’t too big.

The bowlers destroyed the top and middle order of West Indies as the visitors were 7 down on just 82 runs despite having a long and strong batting lineup.

The player of the match from the last game, Prasidh Krishna picked up another 3-wicket haul in the last match of the series.

Mohammed Siraj also grabbed 3 wickets while Deepak Chahar and Kuldeep Yadav picked 2 wickets each.

Washington Sundar was the only bowler who remained wicketless today. 

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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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