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India’s chances against New Zealand in the WTC



India and New Zealand are set to lock horns for the inaugural World Test Championship at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground in Southampton from June 18 to June 22.

India reached the WTC finals after overwhelming Joe Root-led England 3-1 in the February Test series at home.

Meanwhile, New Zealand confirmed their spot after whitewashing a depleted Pakistan team at home.

While the Indian fans are eager to see Virat Kohli’s men give their all in June, they must remember that the English pitches haven’t always got them top results in the recent past.

Apart from the Indian skipper, the rest of the team will have to play out of their skin in England, especially when a green wicket is in play.

This is primarily because Indian batsmen grow up playing the game on turning tracks at home that help them tackle the spinners. But the big pictures changes completely when such players are asked to perform on seaming green pitches.

Such tracks will help the New Zealand pace cartel seam and swing the ball both ways.

Moreover, India has been winless on the Southampton track.

They played and lost both the games and this could jinx them if they aren’t mentally strong.

On the flip side, the Kiwis will feel more at home.

They are better performers than India on green wickets and are likely to live up to their reputation in June. 

Arguably, batsman extraordinaire, Rohit Sharma, is the most dependable batsmen in the Indian squad after Kohli.

He averages 40 against the Kiwis in Tests, but his inconsistency overseas doesn’t pose him as a major threat for Williamson and co.

Hence, the Kiwis have an edge over the Indians and could lift the trophy in June.

How India can exploit a green wicket

The odds favour the Kiwis, but the only way Kohli’s men can shock the New Zealand side is by getting their pace combo right.

Team Indian should bank on Mohammad Siraj, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah to bounce the Kiwis out.

They are India’s finest bowlers at the moment who can trouble the strong batting lineup in New Zealand.

Siraj has changed his bowling drastically ever since he debuted in Australia.

The right-arm pacer has been economical and taking more scalps than usual after the foreign tour.

Even in the 2021 Indian Premier League, Siraj led the pace attack from the front. His combo with Bumrah and Shami can do the trick for the Men in Blue.

Players to look out for

Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara are India’s backbone in Tests and sending them back to the hut will be an uphill task for the Kiwis.

Both batters adopt the “watch early, play late” technique to tackle a seaming wicket.

Similarly, Kane Williamson, who was the top scorer in the Pakistan series, is likely to cream the ball all over the park against Indian bowlers.

His calm demeanour has helped the New Zealand cricket team, umpteen times, including helping them reach the World Cup finals in 2019.

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Smriti Mandhana and Ellyse Perry star in RCB women’s comeback win against UP Warriorz in WPL 2024




Smriti Mandhana and Alyssa Healy (Source - X)

RCB women overcame UP Warriorz by 23 runs to clinch their third win of the season. The home side outperformed Warriorz in all the facets of the game and emerged victorious. A collective team effort, particularly with the bat, helped RCB women to beat Warriorz for the second time in the season. They now have three wins in their five matches in the WPL 2024.

Alyssa Healy won the toss and opted to field first. Given how things have panned out in the league so far, it needed a great batting performance from RCB to challenge the chasing side. The home side did exactly that. They were full of intent which was lacking in the last few games. Right from the start, S Meghana and Smriti Mandhana smashed the bowlers.

It was the night of the RCB skipper. The Southpaw scored 80(50) in her stay. S Meghana perished after a valuable 28(21). Ellyse Perry batted well and registered her first fifty of the WPL 2024. She was aided well towards the end by Richa Ghosh whose 21(10) propelled RCB to a score of 198 on the board. It was the highest team total in the WPL 2024.

Alyssa Healy’s efforts go in vain

Chasing the daunting total, UP Warriorz were off to a flier. The opening duo of Healy and Kiran Navgire gave a fiery start to the visiting side. When the two were batting in the PP overs, it seemed like the Warriorz could pull off an insane chase. However, Sophie Devine brought RCB back into the game with crucial wickets. At Bengaluru, the home crowd was literally behind the RCB women.

It helped the home side to stay calm and do their job with ease. Sophie Molineux and Asha Sobhana were the pick of the bowlers, who claimed 2/29 each in their spell of four overs. While Healy scored a fifty and Deepti tried her best in the death overs, ten daunting targets could not be chased down. Despite the early hiccups, RCB managed to restrict UP Warriorz to a score of 175 and won by 23 runs.

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WATCH: Ellyse Perry in disbelief as her six breaks car’s window




Ellyse Perry smashed a six in the match against UP Warriorz in the WPL 2024. It was an interesting six as the ball travelled towards the boundary ropes and fell exactly on the window of the car. As a result, the glass of the window was broken. The car is set to be provided as a reward for the player of the tournament.

It was the over of Deepti Sharma towards the last few moments of RCB’s innings. Before Perry struck, the home side was in a great position in the match, thanks to a great start provided by Smriti Mandhana. The star batter scored 80 (50) and shined in front of the home crowd. Her form helped RCB to have a good momentum towards the death overs.

Watch the viral video here –

Perry, who was struggling till that point, opened up and smashed the bowlers for fun. She went hard against the spinners like Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Deepti Sharma who were asked to bowl at the death. The right-handed batter smashed back-to-back sixes in the over of Sharma. One of those travelled towards the mid-wicket region where the car was stationed. The video of her shot has gone viral on X.

RCB teammates laugh, Ellyse Perry in disbelief

As the ball fell on the car and damaged the window, the fans erupted. There was no end to the joy of the fans who started chanting “Perry.. Perry..” and lit the atmosphere of the stadium. However, Perry was in disbelief. As she saw the impact of the ball damaging the car’s window, the Australian batter could not believe her eyes and thought about what she had just done.

On the other hand, the RCB teammates of Perry were in awe of the shot. They looked at the replays and appreciated the shot of Perry. At the same time, players like Sophie Molineux and Sophie Devine had a laugh about the car’s window getting damaged. Ellyse scored a fifty and helped her team score 198 runs with her batting in front of the home crowd.

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Praveen Kumar addresses Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer’s negligence of taking part in Ranji Trophy




Praveen Kumar

Praveen Kumar has given his opinion on the preferences of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer in recent times. The duo did not take part in the Ranji Trophy matches for their respective teams despite being fit. It did not go well with the Indian Cricket Board which landed the duo without a ventral contract which was announced a few days back.

Praveen Kumar has reacted to the issue recently. The former India pacer claimed that he has been of an opinion on the issue for a long time. Praveen felt that one should definitely earn money but not at the cost of neglecting to play for domestic and national teams. The right-arm pacer felt that players today are having a certain mentality which is not good.

The former pacer claimed that the players have a mindset that they can rest for a month before taking part in the IPL, thereby bypassing playing for their national team or the domestic teams. Praveen felt that the players could not resist letting go of money which they could earn by taking part in the IPL and other T20 leagues (For foreign players).

‘Ye mentally hota hai, ki mai itne paise kaise chodun’ – Praveen Kumar

“This thing is now firmly in the mind of players. Mai ek mahine pehle rest kar lunga, fir IPL khel lunga. Ye mentally hota hai, ki mai itne paise kaise chodun,” said Praveen in the interview. He claimed that youngsters these days are spoilt and are behind money. The former RCB pacer felt that it is not fair on the part of the young players to neglect the country over the IPL.

Kumar felt that a player needs to maintain a balance between playing for the IPL team and for the country. He felt that money is an important factor, but not at the cost of playing for the national team. “But this is not fair at all. A player needs to balance things. Money is important, but this (giving franchise cricket the priority) is wrong,” said the former Indian bowler in the interview.

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