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Kedar’s Homecoming

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WHAT A KNOCK! Kedar Jadhav plays a shot during the India v/s England First One Day International match, Pune, Reuters/UNI

Ably led by Kohli, the Pune boy overcame agony to hit ton that transformed the match and made short work of the humongous target

By Sujit Bhar

India winning a One Day International (ODI) versus England isn’t news. But when it wins chasing a massive 350 for seven, England’s highest versus India, then it is. Moreover, if it happens to be the first captaincy effort by Virat Kohli, after Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had just given up his, leaves with six for six, pulling India down to 63 for four, then it surely is. And that’s what happened in Pune on January 15, in the first ODI of the series.

But that’s not the end. England managed a steady run-rate, reaching the score without a century contribution. That meant that, with four down and not much on the board, India needed to speed up things. Eyes turned to Kohli, of course, the man for a chase. He did not disappoint, scoring a strong 122 off 105 deliveries, with eight hits to the fence and four over.

India won by three wickets with 11 deliveries to spare. This was India’s third successful chase of 350-plus totals.

That was great play, no doubt. But the day belonged to a 32-year-old local lad, Kedar Jadhav. The attacking middle-order bat (also an occasional off-break bowler) hit a whirlwind 120 in 76 deliveries, assisted by 12 boundaries and four sixes.

It was a great start for India’s home series, keeping India’s record of not losing a home ODI intact, and, even in losing, England surely can’t complain. They had started the series tentatively, with former BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke’s letter warning them of a possible lack of facilities, now that board president Anurag Thakur and he had been sacked by the Supreme Court. Facilities were up to the mark, they found, only the Indian team was too hot to handle.

The match itself has been analysed enough, but the incredible thing is India’s throwing up great batting talent on a regular basis. Just the other day Jodhpur-born 25-year-old Karun Nair had become only the second Indian after Virender Sehwag to hit a triple century, and on Sunday Jadhav came in from the cold, so to say, lifting India out of the woods.

Jadhav isn’t a newcomer, this being his 13th ODI, neither is he new to a chase. Four months back, in a chase, India were down to 73 for four, when he combined with then skipper Dhoni for a 66-run partnership that saved the day. On Sunday, fighting cramps (Kohli had cramps too), Jadhav provided ample support to his new captain to be named Man of the Match.

The attacking stance is Jadhav’s default setting. He broke into the big boys’ league with a half-century off 29 deliveries on his IPL debut for Delhi Daredevils. He carried with him the experience of six half centuries and a century in first class cricket and for Maharashtra he has displayed excellent offensive tactics.

Also confidence, oodles of it.

It was clear from what Kohli said after the match. He has been quoted as saying: “I think it was outstanding. Just to have another guy that was willing to believe we can win from any situation was such a boost for me as well. The way he came out—and knew exactly how to bat at this wicket—was tremendous.”

Following Dhoni, Kohli has gained similar leadership qualities. Of Jadhav he said: “He was disappointed in the last series against New Zealand when he couldn’t get us across the line. In New Delhi he was playing really well. We told him that the best place you can learn is out there in the middle. No point sitting outside and thinking what you could have done.”

Kohli has welcomed Jadhav into his world, into his own way of thinking, and for a virtual greenhorn to have his captain put a great deal of confidence in him is great news. Jadhav made the best use of it.

And quite like any top level motivator from the world of hard-core professionals, when Jadhav was facing a hurdle through painful cramps, Kohli just told him to rise above it, play for the team. These are the small things that make a complete human being; someone who is willing to see beyond that threshold of pain, into the world of accomplishment.

If we look back, perhaps, this is the level of optimism that the Supreme Court wanted to bring back to the game. The apex court possibly saw beyond the politicking and wheeling dealings into a world where the game of cricket is supreme. That remains beyond that threshold of temporary pain.

That was what Kohli and Jadhav showed.

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Don’t blame anyone: Irfan Pathan replies after fan slams MS Dhoni for his short white-ball career

Leading the Bhilwara Kings in the ongoing edition of the Legends League Cricket, the Gujarat all-rounder has given several good performances for his team with both bat and the ball.

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irfan pathan

Former team India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who regularly interacts with his fans and followers on Twitter, on Tuesday, came across a tweet shared by his fan blaming MS Dhoni for his short white-ball career.

Pathan, who is currently playing for Bhilwara Kings in the Legends League Cricket, was addressed by one of his fans on Twitter regarding his non-selection in the Indian cricket team.

Taking to Twitter, a user expressed his disappointment over Pathan’s early exclusion from team India and said every time when he sees him in these leagues, he curses MS Dhoni and his management even more. He can’t believe that the all-rounder played the last white ball game at the age of just 29, he tweeted.

Expressing his frustration for having not seen the all-rounder play for India after the age of 27, the user said perfect no. 7, any team would die for but India played Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja), even Binny (Stuart Binny).

Pathan came up with a perfect reply to a fan who blamed the former team India skipper and said don’t blame anyone. Thank you for your love.

Leading the Bhilwara Kings in the ongoing edition of the Legends League Cricket, the Gujarat all-rounder has given several good performances for his team with both bat and the ball.

Former left-arm pacer had impressed everyone with his ability to swing the ball when he hit the grounds. The cricket experts and analysts were once compared to legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev in his early career days.

In his short international cricket career, Pathan played 29 Tests, 24 T20Is, and 120 ODIs. He had also played a crucial role in India’s victory in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. Pathan finished his career with 301 wickets across all three formats of the game. Apart his magic in bowling, he stroked 11 fifties and his only century came in the Test format.

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IND vs AUS: Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma’s celebration after India’s victory over Australia is winning the internet | Watch

After winning the T20 series by 2-1 against Australia, India will now play host to South Africa for the three-match T20 series before heading to Australia for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.

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IND vs AUS

The third T20I between India and Australia was played on Sunday at Hyderabad. Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bowl first and led Team India in defeating Australia by six wickets in the third T20I at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium to win the three-match series 2-1.

The match was full of drama and suspense, and with Virat Kohli still on strike, he took the match till the final over. 11 runs were needed in 6 balls and Virat opted for a six in the first ball but was dismissed by Daniel Sams in the second ball and perished after playing a magnificent knock of 63 runs from 43 balls.

As Virat departed, the Indian doughnut stood up and clapped for Kohli, as he gave the much needed stability to the much needed run chase of 187 runs. Rohit Sharma came out on the stairs of the dugout to hug and applaud the former skipper. And finally it was Hardik Pandya who hit the winning four and made India win the third T20I with six wickets.

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Kohli and Sharma were still sitting on the stairs and as soon as the winning runs were hit, Virat and Rohit celebrated in unison. The duo hugged each other, and former skipper kept repeatedly patting Rohit’s back in excitement. The video soon went viral on social media and people could not contain their emotion after seeing their bond.

Watch the video here:

With all the negativity written about them having ego clashed and a rift on and off the field, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli was always proved the headlines wrong by their bond and mutual level of respect for each other. And seems like the website finding these stories juicy and spicy will also learn their lessons soon.

After winning the T20 series by 2-1 against Australia, India will now play host to South Africa for the three-match T20 series before heading to Australia for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.

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Rishabh Pant misses out 3rd T20I vs Australia, Rohit Sharma explains

Recently, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been under the scanner for his death bowling and facing criticism over his death bowling figures.

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Team India’s wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant on Sunday missed out the series decider T20I against Australia at Hyderabad’s Rajive Gandhi Stadium.

With the series levelled at 1-1, India made just one change in their playing XI replacing wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant with pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

During the toss, team India skipper Rohit Sharma explained why Pant had to sit out the series decider.

The team only needed four bowlers in the previous match, which was reduced to an 8-overs-per-side contest. As a result, Bhuvneshwar had to sit out the game, and Pant was included in the playing XI, Sharma, who won the toss and elected to bowl first against Australia in the third and final T20I at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket in Hyderabad, said in the pre-match conference.

It’s good to be back in Hyderabad and play in front of this crowd. India is looking to maintain the winning momentum, so it was a good win for India in Nagpur. Australia have always been challenging, they bring in a different kind of challenge, Sharma said at the toss.

Recently, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been under the scanner for his death bowling and facing criticism over his death bowling figures. The pacer conceded 49 runs in the first match and also failed to pick a wicket.

Bhuvi has been good with the new ball but his bowling at the death has not been like the new ball. After conceding a lot of runs at death in Asia Cup, the pacer conceded 16 in the penultimate over in the first T20I which ended India’s hopes.

India’s bowling was poor in the Asia Cup and things haven’t changed till the 3rd T20I against Australia, despite the team bringing Harshal Patel back.

Apart from Axar Patel, who picked 3 wickets for 17 runs, every other bowler was left bruised by the Australian batters.

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