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Pace attack is most complete India has ever had: Sachin

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New Delhi:The legendary Sachin Tendulkar feels India has headed to the gruelling tour of England with “the most complete fast-bowling attack in many many years”, a “luxury” that was not there during his 24 years in international cricket.
India are starting their nearly three-month tour of United Kingdom with two T20 Internationals in Ireland from June 27 but all eyes will be on the five-Test series starting August 1 in Birmingham.
“This is the most complete fast-bowling attack that India have had in many many years. In my assessment, this attack would go as one of the best,” Tendulkar told PTI during an exclusive interaction.
The maestro, who played an incredible 200 Tests in his illustrious career, said even though India have had some quality seamers but never had the “luxury” of an attack of such variety.
“We have the luxury where we have a swing bowler (Bhuvneshwar Kumar), a tall bowler (Ishant Sharma), a skiddy bowler (Jasprit Bumrah) and a genuine quick bowler (Umesh Yadav). It is a nice combination to have with so much variation on offer,” Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar had played alongside the likes of Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar.
During the major part of his career though, Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan spearheaded the pace attacks
So does he rate this attack as more potent than some of those during his playing days, Tendulkar replied: “Yeah, I am taking that into account that (attacks of yesteryears) as well because of a reason. We have got Bhuvi, who can bat and also Hardik with good batting ability.”
However, Tendulkar didn’t want to comment on what kind of combination India should play.
“I think the team management would have to assess which opposition batsman is comfortable against what kind of bowling. There will be a few, who would play the swing bowling well and some will have the technique of dealing with deliveries that move off the pitch. You have to pick the team accordingly,” he said.
The highest scorer in Tests and ODIs paid rich compliments to Bhuvneshwar terming him as the man, who can tilt the balance of power in India’s favour with his all-round abilities.
“The current India team is constantly looking at seamers, who can contribute with the bat big time. I think these two guys (Bhuvneshwar and Hardik) have contributed crucial runs every now and then.
“Hardik has just got into the side but I think Bhuvi contributing brilliantly and that contribution changes the balance of the team in a positive manner,” Tendulkar explained.
“It’s good to have batsmen who can bowl four-five overs but even better if we have bowlers, who can score those crucial runs. The kind of contributions that can help you move forward,” he stated.
Tendulkar has been a part of five Test series in England (1990, 1996, 2002, 2007, 2011) and with his vast knowledge about the English weather and pitches, he is expecting a “pleasant weather” during India’s current tour.
“I think there should be good wickets. It also depends on the kind of summer they have. No one wants to play in wet and cold conditions. I am expecting good bright summer conducive for good cricket,” the legend said.
One of the aspects that will work in India’s favour is the fact that Test series will start only in August and by that time India would have spent a good month in England.
“I think going early will prove to be an advantage. By the time the Test series starts, India would have spent five weeks in England with lot of match practice. It would help the team to get into the groove,” he concluded.


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Kohli scripts history, makes clean sweep of ICC awards

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Dubai :Indian skipper Virat Kohli has become the first player in history to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the Intenational Cricket Council (ICC) Cricketer of the Year, the Men’s Test Player of the Year and the ODI Player of the Year awards following an extraordinary 2018.

Not only is Kohli the first player to win these three major ICC awards together, but he has also been named the captain of the ICC Test and ODI teams of the year for a fabulous run in the international cricket.

Kohli scored a total of 1,322 runs at an average of 55.08 in 13 Tests with five hundreds during the calendar year, while in 14 ODIs he amassed 1,202 runs at an astonishing average of 133.55 with six centuries. He also scored 211 runs in 10 T20Is.

 

The 30-year-old from Delhi, who first came into limelight when he led India to victory at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia in 2008, finished the year as the top-ranked batsman in Tests and ODIs.

The highest scorer in both forms of the game in 2018, he was one of only two batsmen to score more than 1,000 runs in Tests and only among three to do so in ODI cricket.

Kohli was the unanimous choice of the ICC Voting Academy for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy with South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada coming in second to him for both this award and the ICC Test Player of the Year award. Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan was runner up to Kohli for the ICC ODI Player of the Year award.

Ecstatic to receive the honour, “It feels amazing. It’s a reward for all the hard work that you do throughout the calendar year. I feel really grateful and very, very happy with the team doing well at the same time myself performing. Having recognition at the global level from the ICC is something you feel proud of as a cricketer because you understand that there are many players playing the game.”

“To be rewarded in this manner from amongst all of them is obviously a very proud moment for me and something that gives you more motivation to keep repeating the same things because you have to keep the standard of cricket up and keep bringing in consistent performances. From that point of view, these awards give you that extra motivation,” he added.

Meanwhile, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson praised Kohli as well asl every cricketer who picked the award during the world body’s annual awards.

“Sincere congratulations to every one of our individual winners and those players named in our ICC Test and ODI teams of the year. Special mention must go to Virat Kohli, who becomes the first ever player to win the Sir Garfield Sobers award along with Test Player of the Year and ODI Player of the Year and be named as captain of both teams,” he said.

Richardson stressed that in order to be recognized as a true cricketing great, one need to be successful in all format of the game and Kohli has become a great ambassador for our sport.

“This is well-deserved recognition for an extraordinary talent. His regard for the game and particularly for Test cricket is also recognized and appreciated. He is passionate in his support of the longest form of the game and its continued importance,” he said.

Kohli had won the Sir Garfield Trophy and ICC ODI Player of the Year awards last year and was also the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2012.

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‘Kohli will break all records created by Tendulkar’

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Karachi:Pakistan’s legendary batsman Zaheer Abbas joined the bandwagon of former greats terming Indian captain Virat Kohli as the best batsman in world cricket who will break all the records of Sachin Tendulkar.

Kohli currently has 39 ODI hundreds and is only 10 short of Tendulkar’s 49.

Appearing on the Gsports show on GTV News channel, Zaheer advised cricket pundits to always keep in mind the era, conditions and opposition while assessing a batsman.

 

“I think at the moment Virat is the best. He will break all the records. But not only Virat, the Indian team has other top batsmen too. If you look at Rohit Sharma, you are just delighted to watch his strokes. One can only appreciate the beauty of his strokes. The variety of strokes in possession of Indian batsmen counts a lot,” Abbas said.

It all boils down to skills, said Abbas, who was considered a batting artist during his best years.

“Obviously, the confidence will come when you have so many strokes and when you know how to stay at the wicket. These skills don’t come easily. It takes time and hard work and one needs to develop a system for this,” he said.

Zaheer, who played 78 Tests and 62 ODIs, was also candid in stating that even top Pakistani batsmen Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq had still not reached that standard.

“They are our players and I want to see our batsmen do very well. But at this stage, they have not reached that standard that I can feel proud of. They haven’t come up to world standards as yet,” he said.

Abbas said there was a time when Pakistan used to beat India regularly but in recent times the neighbouring country’s cricket structure had improved a lot and their system is producing some top quality players.

“Not only their batsmen but even their bowlers. They have improved a lot and this is because their board had the foresight to set up the MRF pace academy years back and get Dennis Lillee as their first coach to help groom their pacers,” he said.

“India at this moment is a top side. Their standards have improved a lot, especially after the IPL because they don’t allow their players to go and play anywhere else.

They are giving so much financial security to their players.”

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Pant is ICC’s Emerging Cricketer of 2018

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Dubai:India’s young wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was on Tuesday named as the ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year 2018.

“Congratulations to @RishabPant777, the ICC Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year 2018!,” ICC tweeted.

Pant is the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a Test century in England and Australia. The youngster also equalled the record for the most catches taken in a Test, with 11 during the Adelaide Test in December.

 

Left-handed Pant produced some fine knocks during the voting period and getting off the mark in Test cricket with a six only highlighted his potential. He scored 537 runs with a century and two fifties in eight Tests during the voting period with 40 catches and two stumpings. In three ODIs, he scored 41 runs and took three catches and in eight T20Is scored 114 runs and pouched two catches.

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