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Pujara and Kohli frustrate English bowlers

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After getting completely demolished in the first innings, India are battling hard to stay in contention in the third Test. 

India has been behind in the third Test ever since they got bowled out for 78 in the first innings.

However, they are making their way back into the match after closing out the English batting lineup for 432 runs.

Then, they batted quite well till the end of the day’s play with a score of 215/2. Currently, India trails by 139 runs.

England still in the driving seat 

If you ask the England cricket fans, they will be disappointed with the way their team folded in the second part of the innings.

They started the day’s play with a scoreline of 423 runs with two wickets remaining. Most importantly, they had a lead of 345 runs. 

England were only able to add nine more runs to their total as they got dismissed for 432 runs with a lead of 354 runs.

Mohammad Shami removed Craig Overton by having him leg before wicket.

Then, Bumrah knocked out Robinson to complete England’s first innings.

In the bowling department, Shami continued to impress as he bagged four wickets with one of them coming on Day 3 of the third test.

Bumrah, Siraj, and Ravindra Jadeja all grabbed a couple of wickets each to close out the English batting line-up.

Kohli, Pujara keep India’s hopes alive

Many expected England to continue the good bowling form that they have shown for most of this test series.

After their bowling master class in the first innings, they couldn’t maintain their levels as India counter-attacked. 

After grabbing three wickets in the first innings, English fans expected James Anderson to continue showing his excellence in the twilight of his career.

However, he wasn’t able to maintain those standards.

The Indian innings couldn’t have started any worse with KL Rahul struggling to get any kind of momentum going.

After being wrongly judged LBW which got overturned by VAR, he was caught by Bairstow off Overton’s bowling. He could only register 8 runs off 54 balls. 

After that, India started to show some positivity in their batting.

Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara started to find the middle of the bat as they displayed sweet strokes to leave England’s seamers frustrated.

Sharma and Pujara established an 82-run partnership before the opener got trapped in front of the wickets against Robinson. The right-handed batsman scored 59 runs.

Virat Kohli has been under massive scrutiny over the past few years.

Despite being massively off-color not just in this series but in 2021, he has started his innings well.

Pujara scored his 30th test half-century with a boundary.

In his innings so far, Pujara has secured 15 boundaries. On the other hand, the Indian captain has also shown his intent by scoring five boundaries so far in his innings. 

In a complete turn of events to the first day, it has been a day of hard work for the English bowlers.

They have been on the receiving end of brilliant shot-making from Sharma, Pujara, and Kohli.

They have just not been able to capitalize on their lead as India try to close out the trailing score.

Both Pujara and Kohli are not out at 91 and 45 respectively. They have built a partnership of 99 runs so far. 

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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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