Sydney: Former Australia captain Steve Waugh says the upcoming four-match rubber is a “significant chance” for India to win their first Test series Down Under.
The series begins with the first Tests in Adelaide on December 6.
“I will see this as a significant chance and they would have prepared for this tour for a long time. I think it’s going to be a really close series,” Waugh told ‘ESPNcricinfo’.
India captain Virat Kohli is likely to be the biggest threat for the Australian bowlers, as they look to maintain their unbeaten record at home against the Asian giants.
Asked how Australia would tackle the Kohli threat, Waugh said, “He is a great player and loves the big moment, a bit like Tendulkar and Lara. They wait for these big series and that’s where they want to show their best. So who is the danger man for Australia? They have got some really good batsmen, they have got a very good all-round team.”
Former wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist said the visitors would mainly bank on their talismanic skipper to get runs on the board.
“Virat is clearly the best player in the world at the moment. So India will look to him to score heavily but all are going to have their challenges and as too will the Australian batting line-up,” Gilchrist said.
The big-hitting batsman of yesteryear was of the opinion that the Australian pace attack comprising Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood could pose tough questions.
“I think Pat Cummins is outstanding, Hazlewood is almost McGrath-like with his bowling. Those three guys and there are couple in the wings who are high-quality fast bowlers.”
Will abide by BCCI, govt’s decision on India-Pakistan WC clash: Kohli
Mumbai: Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday said that his entire team would stand by whatever decision the Union Government and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) take on their 2019 ICC World Cup clash against arch-rivals Pakistan on June 16.
When asked about his take on India vs Pakistan match in the showpiece event, Kohli first paid his condolences to the families of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel who were martyred in recent Pulwama terror attack before vowing to respect whatever decision taken by the Indian government.
“Our sincere condolences to the families of CRPF soldiers who lost their lives in Pulwama Attack. We stand by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do. We will go by what the government and the board decide, we will respect that,” Kohli said on the eve of his side’s first T20I of the two-match series against Australia in Visakhapatnam.
Earlier, former Indian opener Kapil Dev had also stated that it is better to leave it to the Union Government to decide whether the country should play against its arch-rivals Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup or not.
The 60-year-old had added that whatever the Indian government will decide, will be in the best interest of the nation.
The duo’s comments came after a demand from a huge section of the country to sever cricketing ties with Pakistan in the wake of a deadly terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, when at least 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives.
Unfortunate that politics and cricket are mixing: Mani
NEW DELHI: Reacting to BCCI’s decision to write a letter to the ICC in which the Indian cricket board has asked “cricketing community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates”, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani has regretted that politics and cricket are mixing.
“It is unfortunate that politics and cricket are mixing. It is never good for any sport,” Mani told Sportstar.
Mani also quoted South African Nobel peace prize winner Nelson Mandela, when referring to India’s call to serve sporting ties with Pakistan.”Let’s paraphrase what Mr Nelson Mandela had once said, ‘the voice [of sports] is far reaching than any politician’. Sports has its own role to play. Politics has its own issues. The two should not mix,” Mani said.
When asked if Pakistan received any letter from the BCCI or is expecting any letter, Mani outright dismissed the idea, saying, “Why should we receive a letter? Of course, we haven’t received any letter.”
Commenting on the developments in Indian cricket, Mani said: “I will not comment anything on that. Let the BCCI or the ICC decide anything, then only we can discuss about our plan of action.
“You have to talk to the ICC about that. I won’t comment on what Mr Rai has said. We will discuss our plan of action if we hear anything from the ICC. As of now, there has been no communication.” the PCB chief added.
England expects as ICC World Cup looms into view
London: With less than 100 days until the 2019 World Cup gets underway, might it be the year that England lift the global game’s premier limited-overs trophy at long last?
England — the pioneers of one-day cricket as a professional sport — have taken part in every World Cup since staging the inaugural men’s event in 1975.
But all they have to show for their efforts are runners-up medals from the 1979, 1987 and 1992 finals.
Test cricket has long been the priority for everyone in English cricket, be they players, fans or administrators. That changed, however, after another World Cup group-stage exit at the 2015 edition in Australia and New Zealand was sealed with a woeful loss to Bangladesh.
Then England and Wales Cricket Board supremo Andrew Strauss decreed that white-ball cricket would no longer be the “poor relation”, with the former England captain sacking head coach Peter Moores and bringing in Australian Trevor Bayliss specifically to turn round the team’s limited-overs form.
The transformation has been remarkable with a newly-liberated England twice setting new records for the highest ODI totals — their 444 for three against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in 2016 a prelude to last year’s colossal 481 for six at the same ground.
England, captained in 50-over cricket by former Ireland batsman Eoin Morgan, with the side featuring Test skipper Joe Root and the hard-hitting talents of Jason Roy, Alex Hales and Jos Buttler, now sit atop the ODI world rankings heading into their upcoming five-match series away to the West Indies.