Sydney:India coach Ravi Shastri equated India’s maiden Test series win on Australia soil with the historic 1983 World Cup triumph terming it ‘as big if not bigger’.
India beat Australia 2-1 to win their first-ever Test series in Australia to end a long wait of 71 years and Shastri wasn’t short of praise for his wards.
“I will tell you how satisfying it is for me. World Cup 1983, World Championship of Cricket 1985 — this is as big, or even bigger, because it is in the truest (Test) format of the game. It’s Test cricket, which is meant to be the toughest,” Shastri said on Monday.
While formats can’t be compared but India’s 1983 World Cup triumph came against an all-conquering West Indies side that featured Vivian Richards, Clive Lloyd along with four fearsome fast bowlers in Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding and Joel Garner.
Not someone who is shies away from expressing his thoughts, Shastri said that he believes in living in the present as he expectedly lauded India captain Virat Kohli.
“Past is history, future is a mystery. We have won today after 71 years and I would like to live in the present. And salute my captain for being the captain of the team that beat Australia for the first time in Australia in a series,” he added.
Glowing in his praise, Shastri repeated what he has often said about Kohli, his passion and ability to lead from the front.
“I don’t think anyone plays Test cricket with more passion than he does. At least I don’t see any other international captain coming close to him on the field when it comes to showing that passion needed to play the game,” the former all-rounder said.
“He is very expressive, which is different to others. Other captains could have different personalities but Virat is someone who is in your face and it rubs off on all the youngsters who are watching the game in India,” he tried explain the skipper’s persona.
The best part about Kohli, according to the coach, is his ability to walk the talk by setting examples.
“His entire team that watches him, they want to emulate him. And to believe that they can be someone like him who can go out there and strive for excellence. So when an individual puts his neck on the line as captain then the others follow.
“And you have seen that transition happening over the last two-three years where guys in the team have become more and more confident, about their own ability and the ability of the team as well and it’s made all the difference,” he added.
Chahal registers best ODI bowling figures by a spinner Down Under
Mumbai :Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal on Friday recorded the best bowling figures by a spinner in an ODI clash in Australia, during the series-decider against the Aussies in Melbourne.
Chahal picked six wickets while conceding just 42 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), registering a dominant performance against the hosts, in a crucial clash. He also became the first spinner to pick six wickets in an ODI in Australia.
The bowler’s excellent performance certainly played a key role in India restricting Australia to a total of just 230.
The 28-year-old cricketer further equalled the best-ever ODI figures registered by any bowler in an ODI clash in Australia, alongside former Indian fast-bowler Ajit Agarkar.
Agarkar had accumulated the same tally as recorded by Chahal, against the hosts at the same venue, back in 2004.
Australian paceman Mitchell Starc enjoys a bowling tally, which trails the figures registered by the duo by a single run, having picked six wickets for 43 runs against India at the MCG, back in 2015.
English fast-bowler Chris Woakes is the fourth name on the list, after accumulating figures of 6/45 against Australia in Brisbane, 2011.
Phogat becomes first Indian nominated for Laureus Awards
Mumbai: Ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian to receive a nomination in the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Monica on 18 February.
The 24-year-old Indian, who made a sensational comeback after battling a long injury lay-off to win a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Jakarta Asian Games in 2018, has been nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year.
The Haryana wrestler, who was stretchered off after dislocating her knee during the quarterfinals of 50kg freestyle event at the 2016 Olympic Games, has been nominated alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years.
Also nominated are four inspirational Winter Olympic athletes; Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, US ski racing legend Lindsey Vonn and Dutch Paralympic champion Bibian Mentel-Spee.
The last time an Indian sporting feat made its way to the Laureus World Sports Awards was in 2004 when the Indian cricket team and Pakistan cricket team shared the Laureus Sport for Good Award for playing an International match despite political tensions between the two countries.
Most recently, Magic Bus from India won the Laureus Sport for Good award in 2014. However, Vinesh makes history as the first Indian athlete to be nominated in one of the seven main categories at the Laureus World Sports Awards.
All foreign stars will play PSL ties in Pakistan, says Mani
LAHORE: All star cricketers will come to Pakistan to play in the eight matches of the fourth Pakistan Super League (PSL) scheduled for Karachi and Lahore, chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani said.
The PSL matches will be staged from Feb 14 to March 17 at three venues — Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi — in the United Arab Emirates before the remaining fixtures move to Pakistan with Karachi staging five games, including the final, and Lahore three.
Talking to media on sidelines of a friendly cricket match between the Sports Journalists Association of Lahore (SJAL) and the UK-based Pakistani journalists at the Gaddafi Stadium, Mani said a good number of star cricketers had signed up in the six PSL franchises.
However, because of security concerns, prominent overseas players have been reluctant to travel to Pakistan. But with the passage of time, the number of prominent cricketers willing to visit Pakistan has risen. In the recent development the ex-South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers has already pledged to play two matches of Lahore Qalandars in Lahore on March 9 and 10.
To a query, Mani said the talks with Cricket Australia are still on to convince them to send their national side to Pakistan for two games of the five-match One-day International series in the UAE in March despite reports of Australia’s expressing their reluctance regarding playing here.
The PCB chief declared that he has persuaded CA to send a security delegation to assess the current situation in Pakistan before taking a final decision, which is expected to be taken before the PSL begins in the second week of February.
Mani further said that talks were on with the cricket boards of South Africa and England to send different age-group teams to Pakistan.