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Truthful Tuesday | Why Jasprit Bumrah shouldn’t play Tests in India at all
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Even in full-blown wars, the ace is only unveiled in special scenarios. Scenarios which can't be unlocked with anything but the X-factor, the special weapon that holds the audacity to be a differentiator, a differentiator needed when the run-of-the-mill stuff can no longer work.Jasprit Bumrah is that precious jewel, the X-factor, the special weapon, the differentiator in Indian cricket. The skills, the temperament, the confidence, he is one of the best that Indian cricket have had in ages. He's arguably the best pacer across all formats in world cricket at the moment. Short run-up yet great momentum. A chutzpah-laden jump, whiplash action from hyperextension, raw pace, dipping slower balls, killer yorker, wide-angle of attack. An ability to move the ball both ways, with accuracy and control, the deceptive change of wrist. And above all, a sharp brain, to work out a batsman's technique, play with his head, and attack where it hurts the most. He's GOLD for India. A bowler, who should be wrapped up in cotton wool and preserved. There have been great batsmen in the country, but very rarely as good fast bowlers. And that is why there is a greater need for India to be more cautious with him than others. No other bowler in the country walks into the XI across different formats, different conditions, and different countries but Bumrah. But that also means he is likely to be exposed to far more cricket than he ideally should be. And that is precisely where India will need to be careful.Given the team's fast bowling resources for Tests in India, there is a strong case to not play the 27-year-old in home conditions at all. Even his selection for the ongoing Test series against England didn't make much sense given the amount of cricket he had already played. He entered the home series having played 15 matches in IPL, three ODIs, one warm-up game, four Tests since September 19. He sent down 159.4 overs in these many Tests. He was even ruled out of the Gabba Test, which might well have been triggered as a result of his workload. In the hot conditions of Chennai, he had to bowl the most in an innings he ever had. No wonder the Indian pacer was rested for the second Test. But his selection in the squad itself was hard to comprehend, at least for me, given India have to play a lengthy white-ball series later, then there is the IPL and the much more important England tour lined-up. Not to forget, in the World Cup year, it will be great to try different combinations with Bumrah in the side so as to build up the team ahead of the megaevent than in it like the 2019 WC.Let's take a look at how Indian pacers have fared in the last five years in India with a minimum of 10 wickets: Indian pacers at home in the last 5 years  © Cricinfo Statsguru India have quality pacers in Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and now Mohammed Siraj, all of whom are good enough with reverse swing and the old ball. And given how much of a factor India's batting and in particular spin bowling assumes, there is hardly any need of Bumrah’s presence. Why expose him when India already have enough firepower for familiar home conditions? So, they shouldn't. Also, in all honesty, Bumrah in India doesn't make as massive a difference as he does in SENA, for him to toil hard on flat, unresponsive Indian surfaces or the ones that are tailor-made for spinners. However, in SENA conditions, he is invaluable given he leads the Indian bowling attack and turns into an X-factor, with his top-notch skills which are better than most others pacers as the below stats reflect. Indian pacers in SENA in the last 10 years  © Cricinfo Statsguru Bumrah has the best bowling average for any Indian pacer in SENA nations in the last decade. He is the third leading wicket-taker after having made his debut in 2018 in South Africa, which shows he is a class apart. The difference in his bowling average with others shows the gulf between him and everyone else and his significance.And when it comes to limited-overs cricket, he is unrivaled in the Indian team with his value arguably even greater than Virat Kohli given Rohit can make up for his failures but there's no other pacer who comes even close to the diversity of the skills that Bumrah possesses. There is no better death bowler in the world than him forget India, where there is dearth of such options. And unlike Tests, India lack quality bench strength or even as many options in the colorful jersey. So, his value in white-ball cricket goes unabated just like SENA. Bumrah is a generational talent. India are lucky to have a match-winner like him. Now, it's on the selectors, team management, and captain whether they use him in the best manner possible or leave a room for injury with the amount of workload there is for an Indian cricketer, who happens to be a fast bowler, a regular across formats, and an IPL star. He certainly can't be wrapped up in a cotton wool and be preserved but used as judiciously as possible. To ensure that his body doesn't break down due to excessive cricket and he continues winning games of cricket in years to come. Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | Shubman Gill to undergo precautionary scan, won’t take field today
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India's promising opener Shubman Gill, like Cheteshwar Pujara, has an injury scare, after he got hit on his arm while fielding and will be undergoing a precautionary scan. As a result of this, the right-hander will not be able to take field today as India try to level the Test series at the Chepauk.Indian cricket and injuries have become synonymous with each other since the tour Down Under. India had seen numerous injuries in Australia and had to play a depleted side with many players missing. And in the ongoing Test, there have been two injury scares. After Cheteshwar Pujara couldn't take the field on day three of the ongoing Chennai Test after getting hit whilst batting, Shubman Gill won't be fielding today. The young Indian opener had sustained a blow to his left forearm when he was fielding on day three of the Test. As a result of this, he will also be undergoing precautionary scan and is being currently assessed, stated BCCI, reported ANI. Only later, the extent of the injury will be known if there is anything major. In case, the Punjab opener fails to regain full fitness in time for the next Test, then Mayank Agarwal, who was dropped and replaced by Gill in Australia as an opener, may well return to the team's XI.  Shubman Gill sustained a blow on his left forearm while fielding on Day 3 of the 2nd Test. He has been taken for a precautionary scan. The BCCI medical team is assessing him. He won't be fielding today: BCCI#INDvsENG — ANI (@ANI) February 16, 2021On day four of the ongoing Test, India are in a commanding position with half of the English team already back in the hut, at the time of writing this. India will be looking to wrap up things today and level the four-match series 1-1 after losing the Test series opener.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Twitter reacts to Rishabh ‘Spiderman’ Pant’s brilliant stumping to send back Lawrence
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After humming to the tune of Desi Spiderman, Rishabh Pant was at his vigilant duty in Spiderman’s costume, with a brilliant stumping, right after his advice to Ravichandran Ashwin. Being blinded by Dan Lawrence’s brain-faded charge, the wicketkeeper unsighted completed a brilliant stumping.Since the first Test, against England, Rishabh Pant has been brilliant behind the sticks, with his impressive athleticism. In the first innings of the second Test, the wicketkeeper plucked two of the best catches in the Test, both times diving to his left. That even led to Ravichandran Ashwin praising the left-hander for his brilliance behind the stumps. While he was dismissed and undone by the brilliance of Ben Foakes, behind the sticks, it had inspired the wicketkeeper batsman. On the third day, it was the spinners, who ran riot picking up wickets, there was one opportunity where he fumbled a catch off Ashwin’s bowling. However, on day four, none of it mattered, as the wicketkeeper was called to duty early in the morning. Just before Ashwin’s spell to Dan Lawrence, the wicketkeeper charged his way to the bowler, seemingly talking about a plan to dismiss the English batsman. In the span of two deliveries, the off-spinner bowled an excellent delivery that drifted and stayed straight, going in between the English batsman’s legs, to leave Pant in a spot of dire. Despite being blinded, the wicketkeeper’s exquisite footwork ensured that the right-handed batsman walked back to the dressing room. Not the best wicketkeeper in the country? A difference of opinion now?Here is how Twitter reacted: Ashwin had a long conversation with pant before this ball which was magnificently stumped by pant #INDvsENG pic.twitter.com/PowiLhLnV4 — Rabin StarK (@RABINSK) February 16, 2021Proving everyone wrong Rishabh Pant is an alien. pic.twitter.com/hGXjMxPtIa — Archit. (@IndianJoeyy) February 16, 2021Can't agree more The biggest gain of this series for India is the keeping of #RishabhPant #INDvENG — Ajay Srinivasan (@Ajaychairman) February 16, 2021 Its happening. Its starting to come together for Rishabh Pant after a torrid year and a half. Batting. Keeping. Everything. Can't wait to see him take off in the limited overs now. This will be the year of @RishabhPant17.#INDvENG #RishabhPant — Naman Agarwal (@CoverDrivenFor4) February 16, 2021Absolutely Rishabh Pant has taken his game a few notches up. Has become unstoppable. Love it — himamshu (@himamshu_7) February 16, 2021Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | Pitch is turning but only when you hit the right areas, insists Axar Patel
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Axar Patel, who's making his Test debut at the Chepauk, reckons that it's a turning pitch but you have to nail the right areas to get the most out of it. He also added that the team's confidence was greatly boosted by the partnership between Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin.  The venue of the first and second Test might be the same but not the nature of the deck as the pitch has been turning in the ongoing Test as opposed to the series opener, played on a relatively flat wicket. Despite the assistance from the wicket, there has been a lot of difference between the way both the team's spinners have bowled. While Indian spinners have able to gain maximum out of a helpful track, the same hasn't been the case with England duo of Moeen Ali and Jack Leach. Especially, Moeen has bowled quite a few full tosses pretty much like Dom Bess and at times both have lacked the penetration as shown by the Indian spinners. Axar Patel, who took two wickets today for India, also suggested the same and stated that one has to bowl in the right areas to reap rewards. “Like the way the wicket is behaving, it’s turning. But it only turns when you bowl the right length, the right pace. If you are a little slow, it doesn’t turn a lot. So if you hit the right pace and line, it becomes tough for them to bat. It becomes important for the bowlers to bowl the right pace,” Axar told reporters in a virtual presser at the end of day three. There have been a lot of talks around the nature of the wicket but the left-arm spinner asserted that players need to adapt just like Indians do on seaming wickets. “Actually if you look at my last dismissal (Root) one, it was down to the umpire, so I can’t say a lot on that. But here on this wicket, I think we played really well, so when we are able to score runs, they shouldn’t have issues. I think they (England) should change the mindset about the wicket because we also play on seaming wickets.”Notably, if not for injury, the Gujarat spinner would have played the first Test too, and he reckons it was frustrating for him to miss out earlier. Once the No.1 ODI bowler in the world, he also said that the wicket has suited his strength as he tries to bowl accurately. “I was about to play in the first Test, it was frustrating for me but I never got irritated by it. I just took some time and worked on my fitness, my physio told me that it was a niggle and it would become alright for the second Test. It was frustrating but if you look at it positively, I could give my 100% here. I have played with Ash a lot, his mindset and his bowling to both left and right-handed batsman. He talks a lot about mindset and how I could trouble the batsman with my bowling.”“The way I bowl, accuracy is my strength, it has worked well for me. It’s just that you have to be accurate, focused and keep bowling the same line and length. The wicket will take care of itself, you just have to keep bowling to your strength,” Axar said.Indian batting got off to shaky start and were at one position, 106 for 6 today but then Kohli and Ashwin combined in a big partnership with the former getting a fifty and the latter making an emphatic century that helped India to 286 runs. Axar remarked that the team's confidence was boosted by the Kohli-Ash partnership and also how the team doesn't pay much attention to the outside noise. “I think our team’s confidence was boosted by Ashwin’s knock. We had a lot of soft dismissals, the way Pujara got out. We were a bit nervous but the way Ashwin and Virat played, we had immense confidence and when there are runs on board, you tend to be more confident of your chances.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Twitter reacts to Mohammed Siraj’s long six after Ashwin’s stern warning
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Mohammed Siraj came out and showed that he can bat with plenty of patience until Ravichandran Ashwin got to his century. After he got to his hundred, Ashwin crossed the strike but warned Siraj of playing safely but the very next ball, India's no.11 Siraj hammered the ball for a massive six.Huge six by Siraj  Ashwin - "Bhai tere pe bharosa rakh k 1 diya"Siraj don hits next ball for a six😂😂😂😂 — sidheswar sahoo (@sidheswarcasm) February 15, 2021It was huge Over 85th, before 5th ball-Ashwin to Siraj: "Oye Siraj, main tere oopar bharosa rakh ke 1 liya. Tu bhi wo bharosa rakhna."Siraj hits the next ball for a HUGE SIX! — Ketan | کیتن (@Badka_Bokrait) February 15, 2021Siraj surprises everyone Yes, India's #11 Siraj just hit a six!Nope, not on a different pitch, the same one you'll are complaining about.#INDvsENG — Rakesh Kulkarni (@itherocky) February 15, 2021 Ashwin :- "maine terepe bharosa karke ek liya hai abhi tu bhi vo bharosa dikhana"Siraj:- Say no more anna 'Hits a huge six'🔥😍😂#INDvENG #SirajMohammed #Ashwin — Anish Shetty (@AlexHunter_10) February 15, 2021 Ashwin hits six and Siraj took it personally and wacks huge six 😂miyan is on a roll in defence as well as clean hits #INDvENG #INDvsENG — Rohit ⚡ (@Nimma_Rohit) February 15, 2021Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Twitter reacts to umpire handing Kohli a ‘warning’ for stepping on the danger mark
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During the first Test, Virat Kohli had walked up to the umpire, asking him about England batters running approach, closer to the danger mark. However, in the second Test, the umpire handed the Indian skipper a warning for stepping on the danger mark during the third day at the Chepauk. Umpire warned Virat KohliKohli wasn't happy with Umpire's warning Nitin Menon can say goodbye to his umpiring career after telling Kohli to stop running on the pitch — Ahan (@AhanCricket) February 15, 2021 The way kohli looked at menon and said kya hua🤣🤣 — Riyan Parag Fan (@riyanparagfan) February 15, 2021 Kohli offering a batting masterclass, but then does this, and then argues with the umpire!? Might as well get some sandpaper out mate 👍 #INDvsENG pic.twitter.com/cUg7XlVK2k — Darren Timms (@darrentimmsgolf) February 15, 2021 Kohli was not happy with the English players running in the middle of pitch in the first test.And now he's doing the same thing and crying after the umpire warned him.#INDvENG — BIBHU (@CricFreakBK) February 15, 2021He is Virat KohliHahahha Kohli running on the middle of the pitch just to give the England spinners more of a chance. What class act. — Ahan (@AhanCricket) February 15, 2021Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | Pant’s batting confidence rubbing into his keeping as well, feels Deep Dasgupta
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Former Indian wicketkeeper batsman Deep Dasgupta feels that wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant's batting confidence has started to rub on his keeping as well. He also praised his movement in the second innings of the first Test behind the stumps and also the two catches he took yesterday. Rishabh Pant's wicketkeeping has been pretty decent in the last three Tests. He was sloppy when he returned back to the Test side at MCG and the SCG where he had dropped simple catches. But ever since he got 97 on the final day of the SCG Test, his keeping has also improved as witnessed at the Gabba. Barring few misses here and there in the first innings of the first Test, he was really good in the game and has been absolutely brilliant in the ongoing second Test on a square turner. Former Indian gloveman Deep Dasgupta feels on the same lines as he reckoned that his batting confidence has rubbed on his wicketkeeping as well. “I think the way he is batting, that confidence is rubbing onto his keeping as well. Because it is, and we have all heard this before, and we have said it as well, that it is a confidence game. So, once you start feeling confident about yourself, about your skills obviously you look like a different player, " Deep Dasgupta told Sports Today, reported HT. He also applauded the way Pant kept wickets in the second innings of the first Test, where he felt he was balanced and relaxed. “If you look at someone like Rishabh, even in the last Test match as well, he kept really well in the second innings, the way he was moving around he looked relaxed and did not look worried, so he is not making those unnecessary movements, and because of that he has more balance in his approach and his stance".On day two of the ongoing second Test, the 23-year-old took two brilliant catches, both time diving to his left and grabbing the ball exceptionally well. DDG termed both the catches phenomenal “Those two catches were absolutely phenomenal, and not just that, those catches were, of course, brilliant, but generally also the way he kept for those deliveries that were down the legside from Kuldeep, he was really good at that. So, all in all, he is looking really good,” he added.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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The Good, Bad, and Ugly ft. Cricket fans returning to stadiums, Fran Kirby and Wasim Jaffer
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Welcome to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly segment of the week gone by where we review the sporting world and the stuff they offer. The last week was going really well till 'many' stories emerged and things got uglier. Please dive in as we take you on a stroll through the park.The GoodThe Scenes as fans return to Stadium in IndiaFinally, Cricket fans returned to the stadium, and what a glorious occasion it could be with a visiting team being 1-0 up in India in a Test series that would determine the WTC finalist. Of course, it had to be in Chennai in front of the Knowledgeable Chennai Crowd who traditionally stand up and applaud the good cricket on offer, no matter the allegiance. On Saturday, with only 50% crowd allowed to be at the venue, they really made a spectacle. The whistles were coming regularly and every single soul applauded Rohit Sharma returning back to the pavilion after playing the innings of his life. Chennai is known for that but the heart was content for seeing after what seemed like an era without the main stakeholders finding a glimpse of their favorite sport. Fran Kirby and a story of success and tragedyWatching Fran Kirby is pure joy. She does everything an attacking footballer does at her prime and radiates a stunning charisma and smile integral to her personality. That itself makes her a likable character on the football pitch but if you add the personal tragedy that she had to overcome in order to be where she is now, it makes for a compelling narrative. She missed most of the last season after contracting pericarditis which almost forced her into retirement at the age of 26. She was also diagnosed with clinical depression following the death of her mother and life had much more contrasting problems for her. Any mere mortal would’ve left the sport for good, but not Kirby. With an unflinching determination, she did make a comeback and on a roll this season for Chelsea. What a magnificent football story!The BadHugo Boumous abuses umpires to receive red-cardThe week that was glorious for sports on many counts, the bad made its mark. Mumbai City FC star Hugo Boumous is not known for his discipline, and that was on show once again when he abused match officials during their game against FC Goa last week. Boumous was shown a fourth yellow card in the fifth minute of the injury time for ‘delaying the start of play’ and immediately, he was seen abusing umpires on the field. He was shown a direct red card and taking stock of the situation, AIFF Disciplinary Committee issued a show-cause notice to the footballer. Even though that won’t affect Mumbai City FC that much as they are already through to the play-offs and have four matches before the semi-finals, his action doesn’t speak much better for the league.Ezra Moseley passes away in a road accidentSome horrific news came from Bridgetown this week as Ezra Moseley, former West Indies fast bowler, died in an accident aged 63. Those who haven’t seen him bowl might not understand the impact that Mosely had for the Windies in 1990 but that goes beyond history books and brought about a cultural manifestation. Despite being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back at the age of 24, he had a significant impact. After having lost the opening encounter in the absence of Viv Richards, Patrick Patterson, and Malcolm Marshall, Windies were staring at defeat at the hands of England, who were chasing 151 runs to claim a 2-0 series lead. Mosely he twice struck Gooch on the glove with rising deliveries - still one of the iconic photos of all-time - and helped Windies to a memorable and ultimately historic draw. Assistant coach for their Women’s team in the 2016 T20 World Cup in India, which they won, Mosely had a fantastic post-retirement career as well. His demise is a loss for the sport we all love.Communal allegations against Wasim JafferWasim Jaffer told me during the lockdown how fortunate he has been in his career for having people right on his side and being loved by everyone irrespective of their age. People from all corners have spoken about the decency of the man and how fortunate they were to know him and thus it seems absolutely ludicrous when communal allegations were levelled against him. It came to such a position that Jaffer had to do a point by point rebuttal in a press conference and yet very few came in support of him. When asked, Ajinkya Rahane said he didn’t have any idea of the incident, Sachin Tendulkar is yet to say one word about that and most of the active cricketers, sans Manoj Tiwary, made their support clear. It is a shame what we’re seeing at the moment.The third Umpiring blunder casts an ugly episode in ChennaiFirst thing first - the on-field umpiring has been excellent in this series so far. However, the same can’t be said about the third umpiring decisions on the opening day of the second Test in Chennai when Anil Chaudhary failed to follow the right procedure after a not-out decision against Ajinkya Rahane. In the 75th over of the day, Rahane prodded forward to a good-length ball of Jack Leach for which Virender Sharma turned down the appeal. When England reviewed it, Chaudhary only checked the UltraEdge and concluded that there was no contact at that moment. However, he failed to realize that the ball, after hitting the pad, in fact, hit Rahane’s gloves on the way to Ollie Pope. When England told the on-field umpire that they were in fact, checking for a catch, Chaudhary responded with an LBW review. It all happened in a spur and England had lost a review. When England team management took that up with match referee Javagal Srinath, he reinstated the review but Rahane batted on for a while. It created an outrage on Twitter and the umpires copped abuse for the same.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | Chepauk Day 2 Talking Points: Ashwin’s Chepauk connection and Pant’s maturity
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Well push the day three pitch to day two and that’s what you got on offer, Chepauk’s surface was turning square, triangles and even trapezium. On the day, there was Pant with his maturity, Ashwin with his posterity and Ben Foakes, who had triumphed others with his intensity in comparison to others.Rishabh Pant continues to mature and improviseCarefree, reckless and irresponsible - three words that started to define Rishabh Pant during his early days in Indian cricket. But since he made his Test debut, those words have been history and he has written several new pages in that book. The way he has matured since then has turned all eyes of criticism into appreciation, with rumours of adjectives running out of dictionaries. When he walked in during the wee hours on the first day, he played percentage shots, only attacking the ones which came his way. And the others, he defended, something he hadn’t quite been able to adapt in the other formats. Since his debut, Pant has an average of 45.92, just behind the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja. While the left-hander isn’t quite a century-scorer, his valuable contribution has quite made him the fan favourite, which was visible at the Chepauk. When he walked out to bat, he received the biggest applause and when he walked back, the magnitude of the applause became thunderous. What was more clever was his choice of shot, playing the percentage shots while still looking for doubles, to not leave his partner at the other end exposed. Even when wickets fell around him, he patted the backs of the bowlers, giving them a bit of confidence. Unfazed about the situation, Pant continued to explode and mature. Now, time for him to do the same with the gloves.Chepauk crowd continues to marvel at Ravichandran AshwinSometimes people wonder if they could get to witness wizardry in its pure form, searching all the places for attaining wisdom. While English fans found it via James Anderson and his blissful swing, South Africa attained that wisdom with Dale Steyn. Miles away from the two Western countries, there is India and the Chepauk which continues to marvel every time they look at Ravichandran Ashwin, at his pure best. His brain is well one of the best in the game, with his memory serving him right, including that time when he took a review, for a delivery that spun similar to the way he did in 2016/17, in Mohali where he accounted for Stokes. Ashwin knows the ground, at the back of his hand, he knows every dust that would turn sharply, every dust that would bounce and the other that would keep low. When you have so much information well versed, you just have to go out and implement. That’s what Ashwin does every time he steps on to the ground, sticks by his basics and puts on his wizardry mask. His wand-like spells create chaos, even when you are batting with a monk at the crease. Even if you had ice-packs all over your body, you would feel the heat. That’s Ashwin, that’s Chepauk and that’s indeed the magical connection between the two. It isn’t just love at first sight, it is a marriage of the highest order - one bound by skills, memory and love. And it was only fitting that he walked away with the match-ball, picking up five wickets. Ben Foakes brilliant, both behind the gloves and with the batWhen the English top-order struggled, the pressure was always going to be on the middle-order to resurrect the batting innings. However, the pitch wasn’t a tad bit English or hell, not even what it was in the first Test - it was turning all corners. When the ball turns haywire, shot selection becomes crucial. That’s when Ben Foakes was put under the pump, after having weathered all storms - of turn and bounce behind the stumps. And Foakes came in, he had to listen to all kinds of chirps, from Rishabh Pant to Virat Kohli, everyone was interested in his whereabouts. Not just that, they were even handing him warnings, dishing out flighted deliveries, asking him to go against his own patience levels. None succeeded, the English keeper looked certain, far more than the others in the line-up, with his display against Indian spinners, who were at their peak. Ashwin was flighting and turning, the ball seemed to turn every corner and at the other, there was Axar Patel who was ripping it flat. But none dazed or troubled Foakes, who looked to get to the pitch marks and knock the delivery. His drive against Ashwin, which went straight, was arguably one of the best shots of the English innings. Not just comfortable, Foakes looked seasoned and with a tone of having played in these conditions, day in and day out.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | Haven’t seen the English team complain about the pitch or conditions, reckons Ravichandran Ashwin
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Following the second day’s play, Ravichandran Ashwin has reckoned that he hasn’t seen the English team complain about the pitch or the conditions on offer. He also added that it required incredible patience and skills to be playing on turning wickets, just like it does take on seaming wickets.On a day where wickets fell in plenty, the pitch and the conditions were under immense scrutiny by the English fans and the media. The ball started turning square, starting from the first over of the day, till the last over, where it was gripping and bouncing off the cracks. While the English team were bowled out for 134, the Indians lead by 249 runs with nine wickets in hand, going into day three. Indian off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin, who picked up his 29th 5-fer in Test cricket, stated that he hasn’t seen the English team complain about the pitch or the conditions. However, he also insisted that facing someone bowling 140 clicks is more challenging than facing someone bowling at 85-90 clicks. “I have no idea if they (English team) have complaints about the pitches. It is usual and normal, in the seven days, they (England) have performed really well and played really well. I haven’t seen them complaining or anything. Time and again, there are conditions where the wickets will challenge, be it spin or seam. It is more challenging to actually face 140 kph than someone bowling 85 or 90 kph when the ball is spinning. The challenges are way greater than when you come up against spin,” said Ashwin in the online presser. He also reckoned that just like seaming wicket, batsmen need to show a great level of patience and skillset to get past the challenge. The off-spinner also insisted that the benchmark to face seam and spin should be set on the same level. “I think it is about being very patient, like you are playing on a seaming wicket, where you have to keep going at it and put runs on board. When it comes to spin, people expect conditions to be in their favour. But when it comes to a seaming wicket, you can’t play all your shots. The same kind of benchmarks needs to be set if you are playing on spinning conditions as well.”On his record of getting left-handers out, he revealed that it is a massive advantage for him to get the ball to turn away from the stumps. Alongside that, he also opened up that he’s learnt better, to vary the seam position and make maximum use of the pitch on offer. “I can’t really remember how it all started (Getting left-handers out). Obviously, the ball turning away from the left-hander was a big advantage for me. Over the years, the left-hand batsmen have received bowling from around the stumps. So, one thing that I have learnt better and started using more, varying the seam position. I have tried to use the crease, going wide off and trying to get the ball to spin. Over the stumps is something that I have used well in the last six months.”The Tamil Nadu off-spinner also admitted that the wearing of the SG ball in the first Test could have been because of the conditions on offer, with the hard surface. However, in this Test, he reckoned that there was a massive difference in terms of the ball’s condition, after day’s play. “Whenever you talk about it, my talks would go back to the domestic cricket days, where it was nice. That’s the expectation that you have of the SG ball, you had a benchmark and it would always be compared to that. To be honest, from the last game to this game, there was a massive difference. The pitch wasn’t as hard as the last game, so that might have helped.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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