MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli Interact With Pakistan Players After Defeat, Win Hearts On Social Media

After India’s loss to Pakistan in their Super 12 fixture on Sunday, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni showed the “Spirit of Cricket” and interacted with the opposition players.

Despite a big defeat to Pakistan in a T20 World Cup Super 12 match on Sunday, captain Virat Kohli showed the “Spirit of Cricket” as he interacted with the opposition players after the match. Pakistan defeated India by 10 wickets on Sunday at the Dubai International Stadium. Openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam stitched together a 152-run partnership to help Pakistan cruise to the chase. 

Kohli was seen speaking to Pakistan’s opening duo right after the match. Broadcasters also showed Team India mentor MS Dhoni in conversation with some Pakistan cricketers after the game and it sent social media into a state of meltdown.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) took to social media to share a photograph of Kohli interacting with Rizwan Azam and captioned it as, “Spirit of Cricket! #WeHaveWeWill”.

Chasing a target of 152 runs, Pakistan reached 152 for no loss in just 17.5 overs. Openers Rizwan and Azam remained unbeaten after knocks of 79 and 68, respectively.

Earlier, India posted 151 for seven in 20 overs after making a disastrous start. Openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma were trumped by pacer Shaheen Afridi with the latter getting dismissed for a first-ball duck. Meanwhile, Rahul could only muster three runs off eight deliveries.

India vs Pakistan; a Preview

The biggest match in sports, the most viewed match in sports and the most dramatic rivalry in sports is back. 

India vs Pakistan has never just been about cricket but a mix of cricket, politics, controversy and public opinion. This time is no different. Indian Fans have argued for a Pakistan boycott after the migrant worker killings. 

The last time India and Pakistan met in a bilateral series was during a brief period of peace in 2013. India has a 12-0 record against Pakistan in World cup’s, both T20 and ODI. They have a 7-0 record in T20s.

India’s not the only one with records this time around. Babar Azam’s Pakistan has been on a 10 match winning streak in the UAE. 

The tickets for the match in Dubai were sold out within an hour of launching. The excitement still seems to be on a high as the two cricketing giants go head to head. Babar ahead of the match said, “Pakistan stand a very good chance as they have experienced players who have played a lot against India. India start as favourites and they have all the areas covered but in T20 anybody could beat anybody on their day. These conditions suit us and we know how to play here. We need to keep things simple in all the departments.”

While Captain Kohli downplayed the hype and said, “it’s just another game. I have always approached this game as just another game of cricket. I know there is a lot of hype created around this game more so with ticket sales and the demands for tickets. Yes, the environment, you can say, is different. From the fans’ point of view, it is definitely louder. From the players’ point of view, we stay as professional as we can.”

Who will win this match? One of the most anticipated matches in sports history, on the 24th October, a big day for sports in terms of cricket, football and Motor racing. With fixtures like India vs Pakistan (cricket), Barcelona vs Real Madrid (football), Manchester United vs Liverpool (football), PSG vs Marseille (football) and the United States GP (Formula 1) all in 1 day.

England and India to Play Fifth Test in Edgbaston in July 2022

Earlier this year, India and England played a wonderful test series only for it to end on the 4th test, with a tied series. The fifth test was cancelled due to weather and scheduling issues. The first test match was stopped due to rain, ending in a no result or draw. The second and the fourth test was won by India in convincing fashion, and the third test went to England. 

England’s ECB reached an extended agreement with its broadcasting sponsors Sky for this match as well. The fifth match will be played between July 1-5, expecting no rain, and an exciting match to finally decide the series. 

Also, the whiteball tour of England for India will now start 6 days later than scheduled, now on July 9th. 

Tom Harrison, the ECB’s chief executive, said: “We are very pleased that we have reached an agreement with the BCCI to create a fitting end to what has been a brilliant series so far.

“I’m very grateful to all the venues involved for the cooperation they’ve shown in allowing us to reschedule this match. I’d also like to thank Cricket South Africa for their support and understanding to allow these changes to be possible. We would like to apologise again to fans for the disruption and disappointment of September events. We know it was a day that so many had planned long in advance.

Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary, added: “I am delighted that the England-India Test series will now have its rightful conclusion. The four Test matches were riveting, and we needed a fitting finale.

West Indies Look to Show ‘Never Say Die Attitude’

West Indies squad, remembering Carlos Braithwaites last over match winning innings famously known as the ‘Remember the Name’ innings. Pollard, the West Indian captain, believes that will high will not affect the performance of the team in their opening match against England. 

“In terms of personnel and bearing, to say it can have a big impact, I don’t think so. But it’s definitely going to be in the back of our minds. I thought what Carlos did in those four deliveries in that last over, it was unbelievable and it’s something that we actually as a team saw last night and it brought goosebumps back to us. For us to be back in that situation, to get over the line, it shows that sort of never-say-die attitude and we, as a team, look forward to replicating this entire tournament. Those sort of moments stick with us and hopefully we can just go out and play good cricket and get in a position and situation where we are actually in the final, so we can have some memories as well going forward. But having said that, I don’t think it will have much bearing on tomorrow’s game because it’s like another game of cricket as the situation was totally different – it being a final – but be that as it may, looking forward to coming out and show and give a good account of ourselves.”

After missing the finals few matches for Kolkata Knight Riders, Russell returned to play for the West Indies in the warm up match against Afghanistan as he took a wicket for 13 runs.

“As of right now, we have our last practice session this afternoon and will have a last look and see,” Pollard said. “If we’re confident for him Russell  to take the field… he played in that warm-up game a couple of days ago and it was just like a trial for him because he hasn’t played a cricket match in about three-four weeks, so there’s still some rust there for him, still needed to be a bit confident in his mind. But I’m sure even yesterday and a couple of days before that, he’s been working tirelessly behind the scenes to be fit.”

Powerhouses Interested in Buying IPL Teams

With the BCCI ready to announce details regarding the two new franchises next week, big companies have shown keen interest in investing their money in the IPL. 

Avram Glazer the owner of Lancer Capital the company who owns Manchester United has shown an interest in buying an IPL team as well. Glazer, who also owned football teams in the United States such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, home to the best American Football players, Tom Brady. 

Glazer wasn’t the only one to show interest however. 22 other business entities have shown an interest in owning the IPL franchise. Amongst them were giants like the Adani group, Sanjeev Goenka’s RPSG, Jindal Steel, Torrent Pharma, Aurobindo Pharma, Hindustan Times Media and many more privately held firms. 

The two new teams BCCI will announce will be based in any 2 of the potential 6 cities announced by the BCCI earlier this year. Ahmedabad, Cuttack, Dharamsala, Guwahati, Indore and Lucknow. 

As for RPSG, this will be the second time they would invest in the IPL after owning the Pune SuperGiants for two years. They also own a football team in the Indian Super League, ATK Mohun Bagan, and the RPSG Mavericks in the Table Tennis League

Rain Ruins WBBL

The rain in Australia has ruined the WBBL as expected this year. The match between Hobart Hurricanes and Adelaide Strikers was stopped after rain interfered in  the 16th over. While Melbourne Stars suffered a similar fate when two of their matches were called off without a ball being bowled. 

The rain played the villain as the Sydney derby was set to go as planned. The Sixers and Thunder were ready to play for the important points, but even before the players could grace the field, the match was called off  as the rain ruined the pitch.

Even after a lot of efforts from the staff to get the pitch and field ready, it wasn’t possible for any matches to be played on the ground at all. 

While in the Hobart Hurricanes and Strikers match, the Strikers were off to a decent start as they had made 107 runs for 5 wickets as Preez made 39 runs and Stalenburg was stuck on 21 when the rain invaded the match. 

Hayden: India Pakistan is Like ‘Nothing Else I’ve Ever Seen’

Matthew Hayden, commented on Babar Azam as the target for all bowlers, and Pakistan’s chances of winning the cup. Hayden who recently became Pakistan’s batting coach/consultant talked about the grand nature of India vs Pakistan matches. 

“Babar obviously has his own role to play not only in terms of leadership but as a premier batter,” Hayden said. “Because as you’ve seen through the IPL, the two dominant captains here in the UAE, MS Dhoni, a World Cup winner and [Eoin] Morgan, a World Cup winner…even though their individual performances weren’t as good as what they have previously done within their own statistical record. But the way that they led their troops and conduct themselves is an important part of the UAE because as I mentioned, it’s not one side, it’s not necessarily going to run away with it here. It’s a real dogfight.

“The conditions and the margins for errors are very little and so good leadership is going to be key. I think Babar has that and commands that presence and that role and he needs to fulfil that role and in a batting sense as well. He, I think, is the premium player and he will be targeted. He will also be the person that everyone is wanting to put in his pocket. There’s going to be additional pressure on him, both as a captain and also as a batsman. I sense that the way that he goes about it is going to be spot on.”

India and Pakistan both begin their campaigns on the 24th against each other. So far, Pakistan has had a 0% win record against India in World Cups. With Hayden on their side they might have a better chance of winning this time around, buthis limited coaching experience might be a hindrance. Hayden, who retired in 2009, and recently started coaching continued, “Calmness is maybe something that I want to bring in,” Hayden said. “A sense of calmness and control of remaining very present in play because World Cups are such a challenging thing and playing multiple World Cups has been such an important part of my life. One of the things that I’ve learned is that for whatever reason, you’re always under pressure so you don’t need to create it. You know, pressure environments are additional to what the game demands, so to remain calm, that’ll be the one thing.”

Scotland Shocks the World and Qualifies for the Super 12

The Scottish have had a bad history when it comes to qualifying. But, this time their balanced squad has pierced through their competition to reach the Super 12, beating Bangladesh, Oman and PNG. They will now be grouped with the likes of India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan and one more team from Group A. 

For Scotland, Davey, Sharif, and Leask shined the brightest in the first innings, taking out the likes of Jatinder Singh, Ilyas, and more. 

After the major wickets it became seemingly easy for the Scottish. Limiting Oman to only 122, the match was heading towards the amazing Scotland side. Munsey and Coetser opened the batting for Scotland. They set up the batting pretty well with Coetser scoring 41 and playing the captain’s innings, and Munsey scoring 20 runs. These two were the only wickets Oman could take, as Cross and Berrington got Scotland through with 26 and 31 runs respectively.

Berrington finished things off in style as he drilled a six through deep midwicket to change the luck of the Scottish. It remains to be seen how Scotland can perform against the likes of giants like New Zealand and India.

After Loss to Scotland, Bangladesh Takes a hit in Morale

Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah commented on questions raised about Bangladesh’s “commitment” for the world cup after the loss to Scotland. 

Bangladesh, who lost their first match to Scotland shockingly, had to remain 110% focused to beat Oman and PNG to reach the Super 12. Even the Bangladesh Cricket Board president criticized the players, specifically Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushqfir Rahim. 

“We all felt bad by each and everything, from all sides,” Mahmudullah said. “We are human, we also have feelings. We have families. Our parents and children sit in front of the TV. They also get upset. Everyone has social media on their phone these days. We expect criticism when it is warranted but if that resorts to being belittled, we feel bad. There were many questions, including about the three senior players’ strike rate.

“Shakib is a champion player for Bangladesh. We are lucky to have a performer like him. But we are not worried about Mushfiq or Mustafiz. We are not losing faith in them, probably people from outside are”, Mahmudullah said.

He continued, “We tried hard, but we didn’t get the result. Everyone makes sacrifices. We play with injuries. Some of us take painkillers every day. Many don’t know about these things, so it is not right to talk about our commitment. I hope we can be more settled now. Within the team, there is positive energy, and for that I thank the whole team. I hope things will get better.”

Stead Comments on Williamson’s Elbow

New Zealand’s head coach Gary Stead, talked about Kane’s consistent issue with his elbow. Williamson had walked into it again whilst batting for New Zealand in their second warm up match. He scored 37 of 30 balls. 

After missing out the first warm up with a hamstring issue, Wlliamson’s presence remains questionable throughout the world cup currently. The head coach, Stead had warned Williamson against “Over-hitting” in the nets ahead of the fixtures.

“I think we’re still pretty hopeful and confident that if we get the rest right, initially here now, and get that balance right then he should be right to play,” Stead said. “I mean Kane is a prodigious hitter of balls, he loves to prepare that way as well, and in some ways that’s probably the worst thing he can do, is over-hit at times. So, it’s really [about] getting that balance right, between feeling ready and feeling prepared to go, and making sure we don’t aggravate anything any further.”

“Good to have Tim Seifert back, he just had a very minor abdominal strain and so he’s recovered well,” Stead said. “Played full part today and no issues at all. Mark Chapman had his first run back for a while as well and got through the games nicely, so again we will see how he scrubs up tomorrow morning when the physio looks at him; just to check over where he’s at. Kane’s elbow has just flared up a little bit after the last match and so it was more precautionary than anything. We just feel if we can get his preparation right in terms of not over-hitting and aggravating it through training, then it gives him the best chance to be right through the tournament. I think on the whole we’re tracking pretty well.”