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Monday, 31 December 2012

Glenn McGrath to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced that former Australia bowler Glenn McGrath will be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on January 4, 2013 during the lunch interval of the third Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka in Sydney.

McGrath becomes the 68th male member of the Hall of Fame and joins fellow 2012-13 inductees West Indian Brian Lara and England's Enid Bakewell in being recognized by the ICC and the living members of the Hall of Fame.

Bangladesh shelves Pakistan tour over security

Bangladesh said Monday it had shelved on safety grounds a planned cricket tour of Pakistan, which would have been the first by an international team since a 2009 militant attack on Sri Lanka's bus.
The two teams had been scheduled to play a Twenty20 and a one-day international on January 12 and 13 respectively, both in Lahore.
But Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan told reporters the proposed tour had been put off indefinitely amid fears over players' safety, following protests by Bangladeshis and a Facebook campaign against the visit.
Anti-Pakistan sentiment still runs strong in the country, which was part of Pakistan until 1971 when it won independence after a nine-month war.

Misbah-ul-Haq praises Dhoni for his brilliant ton

His gritty century could not help India's win but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's ton under challenging conditions was acknowledged and appreciated by his counterpart Misbah-ul-Haq, here Sunday. Dhoni scored a fighting 113 when India were staring down the barrel at 29 for 5 after being put into bat in bowling friendly conditions.
Dhoni was also adjudged the Man of the Match for his knock. "It was more difficult to play in the first half. There was lot of moisture but very well played by Dhoni. He single- handedly took the game away from us but in the end [Nasir] Jamshed played brilliantly for us," Misbah said at the post match presentation ceremony. 

Dhoni ton one of the best under pressure: Imran Khan

Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan Sunday praised Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his heroic innings of 113 in the first ODI against Pakistan in Chennai and said it was one of best knocks under pressure.
Coming out in the 10th over when India were down in the dumps at 29 for 5, Dhoni single-handedly took India's total to 227 for 6 with an unbeaten knock of 113 from 125 balls though his side lost the match by six wickets. 
"I think he played really well and in fact it was an exceptional innings under pressure. But for his knock, this match would have been over in two-three hours," Imran said.

Sourav Ganguly wants an Indian coach after Duncan Fletcher

With Duncan Fletcher's two-year tenure as India coach nearing its end, former captain Sourav Ganguly has pitched in for a home-grown person to take charge of the team next year, saying that the country has enough talent.
"We need to have an Indian coach and I am dead sure we have enough talent in the country to find an Indian coach," Ganguly said
"It is not about individuals but I feel time has come for an Indian coach to take over," Ganguly said at a panel discussion after the launch of inaugural Wisden India Almanack magazine here Saturday night.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Virat Kohli injures his knee

India suffered another jolt when star batsman Virat Kohli suffered an injury during Pakistan's successful chase of 227 in the first ODI at Chepauk. Kohli was called upon to bowl his slow seamers in the 41st over - the last over required by India's part-timers - when he appeared to twist his ankle in delivery stride and landed hard on his right knee.

The Delhi lad winced and collapsed to the pitch as his cries of pain could be heard through the stump microphone. The physio was called and after inspection decided to take Kohli off. A stretcher was called for, but Kohli chose to walk off the field. Since he had completed just five balls of his third over, Suresh Raina was summoned to finish the 41st.

Kapil Dev urges Mahendra Singh Dhoni to consider quitting IPL

Legendary Indian all rounder Kapil Dev has urged Mahendra Singh Dhoni to contemplate not playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to focus on the other formats of the game.
Dev said it is not possible for any player to keep playing regularly for 300 days an year with the same consistency, Gulfnews.com reports.
When asked whether he could suggest a replacement captain, Dev replied he doesn't have the authority to propose a new captain but believes someone has to be appointed based on his leadership capabilities.

Chris Gayle names Virender Sehwag , Lasith Malinga as top T20 players

Explosive West Indies batsman Chris Gayle believes India's Virender Sehwag and Australia's David Warner are the two best batsmen in Twenty20 cricket right now with Lasith Malinga and Muthiah Muralidaran being the two best bowlers in the shortest format of the game.

Gayle said it is tough to pick the best players in T20 cricket due to the presence of so many great athletes in the game, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Michael Hussey says Oz's talent reserve good enough to replace him

Michael Hussey has claimed there is no lack of talent in Australia to replace him in the national team, adding that his younger brother David can get a crack at replacing him in the Test squad.

Hussey's announcement on Saturday that he'll retire from international cricket after this summer came exactly a month after Ricky Ponting revealed he was calling time on his storied career, the Age reports.

That leaves another middle-order batting vacancy going into February's tour of India, followed by two Ashes series, in England then Australia.

Pakistan beats India by 6 wickets in Chennai ODI

A resolute century from opener Nasir Jamshed helped Pakistan beat India by six wickets in the first one-day international match played at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk, Chennai on Sunday.

Pakistan chased down a target of 227 with eleven balls left with Jamshed scoring 101 not out and smacking five fours and one six in his 132-ball innings.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Young bowlers handled pressure well: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was all praise for his young bowling attack that held its nerve in the death overs during the 11-run win over Pakistan in the second encounter of the drawn Twenty20 international series at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, on Friday.

Young pacers Ashok Dinda (3-36) and Ishant Sharma (1-34) were excellent in the last two overs, giving away just just 14 runs when Pakistan needed 26 to win.

It was difficult to hit Dinda: Mohammed Hafeez

Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez said that his side never expected the partnership between Yuvraj Singh and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to flourish.

According to Hafeez, the 97-run partnership between the duo was the “turning point of the match”.

“Although, they went off to a promising start, we were hopeful of restricting them to 160-170...But Yuvraj was exceptional today. The way he batted was outstanding. He also struck a good partnership with Dhoni. We were not expecting the partnership to go that further. The partnership was the turning point of the match,” Hafeez said at the post match media conference here.

Yuvraj Singh dedicates his award to Sachin Tendulkar

Yuvraj Singh, MoM in Friday’s T20 International against Pakistan, has dedicated his award to Sachin Tendulkar, who will now only be playing Test cricket.

Sachin had been unavailable for the T20s and, on Sunday, announced retirement from the ODIs as well.

“This is my first MoM award after Sachin’s announcement...I’ll be missing him in the dressing room during the ODIs...I’m already feeling bad,” Yuvraj, the T20 king, told The Telegraph.

England captain and broadcaster Tony Greig dies

Flamboyant former England cricket captain and television commentator Tony Greig died of a heart attack Saturday at the age of 66, as he battled lung cancer.
South African-born Greig had only recently been diagnosed with cancer and suffered a cardiac arrest at his Sydney home, dying shortly afterwards.
"Tong Greig passed away at St Vincent's Hospital of cardiac arrest at 1.45 pm," hospital spokesman David Faktor said.
"He was rushed to St Vincent's and staff at the emergency department worked on Mr Greig but to no avail. I understand his family was with him."

Australia's Mike Hussey to retire from Test cricket

Australian veteran Mike Hussey announced on Saturday he will retire from Test cricket after next week's third and final match against Sri Lanka in Sydney.

The evergreen Hussey, who continues to flourish at 37, just months younger than Ricky Ponting who called it quits earlier this month, said he wanted to spend more time with his four young children, who are all aged under eight.

India beats Pakistan by 11 runs to level T20 series

India beat Pakistan by 11 runs in the second Twenty20 played at the Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium in Motera on Friday to level the series 1-1.

In reply to India's 192-5, Pakistan could only muster 181/7 in its stipulated 20 overs.

Pak captain Mohammad Hafeez top scored for the touring team with a blistering knock of 55 of 26 balls, smacking three sixes and six fours.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Misbah-ul-Haq and other ODI specialists train at Chepauk

Pakistan's ODI captain Misbah-ul-Haq along with six others had two hour training session at the Chepauk here Thursday.
Misbah and his mates, who have been picked only for the 50-over format, arrived here this morning and came for the training session at around 2 pm in the afternoon. 
The players had a productive net session at the adjacent 'B' ground of the main stadium. The ODI specialists are expected to practice here tomorrow also.

Rashid Latif, Moin Khan for iconic status to Indo-Pak series

Former Pakistan captains Rashid Latif and Moin Khan on Thursday urged the ICC to give India-Pakistan series the iconic status. "The response to this ongoing short series and the way the people followed the first T20 match in Bangalore, it is a clear indication that the ICC needs to give iconic status to Indo-Pak matches," Latif told PTI.
"The ICC needs to keep a window open for Indo-Pak series in its FTP with special status after taking both boards into confidence. That is the only way cricket relations between Pakistan and India will not be affected by the political scenario," Latif added. 

'What was wrong with you?' Ishant Sharma asks Kamran Akmal

Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and Indian pacer Ishant Sharma, who were fined after a verbal duel in the first T20 international at Bangalore, have buried the hatchet and are now the best of friends, according to a leading Pakistani newspaper.
'The Express' newspaper reported Thursday that after the match, Sharma had gone to the Pakistan dressing room and sorted things out with Kamran. "Sharma went to the Pakistan dressing room after the match and addressing Kamran asked him 'Paaji tuhanu ki ho gaya si' (Brother what happened to you)," the report said. 

Brett Lee faces disciplinary hearing

Veteran Brett Lee faces a disciplinary hearing after criticising the New South Wales cricket administration and its chief executive David Gilbert, Cricket Australia said on Friday.
Lee is in trouble over reported comments claiming that Anthony Stuart had lost his job as New South Wales coach because he was made the scapegoat for the alleged deficiencies of Gilbert and the Cricket NSW hierarchy
"I think the blame for a lot of things has been unfairly dumped on Anthony Stuart," Lee had told the Sydney Morning Herald last week.

Australia thrash Sri Lanka to seal Test series


Australia humiliated an ailing Sri Lanka by an innings and 201 runs to wrap up the series midway through the third day of the second Test in Melbourne on Friday.
Trailing by 304 runs on the first innings, a battered Sri Lanka surrendered for 103 for seven off 24.2 overs with Kumar Sangakkara retiring hurt and out for the rest of the tour.
Prasanna Jayawardene and Chanaka Welegedara were also unable to bat because of injuries.

We are ready to go for the kill: Mohammed Hafeez


Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez feels that their ability to perform under pressure has helped them to win the first T20 match.

According to Hafeez, if the players can show the same intent on the field on Friday, they can win the two-match T20 series.

“The way the team bounced back in both batting and bowling was amazing. The boys showed a lot of character. Bangalore win gave us a lot of confidence and our morale is high. Actually, the boys were able to enjoy the pressure and that’s the reason behind such a great performance. We will try to continue that tomorrow as well,” Hafeez told a media conference on Thursday.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

MS Dhoni should take a break from captaincy: Sunil Gavaskar

Batting great Sunil Gavaskar reckons that Mahendra Singh Dhoni should "take a break" from Indian cricket captaincy and Virat Kohli will be an ideal replacement as he can bring in the "necessary flair like Tiger Pataudi."
"It's still early days as far as 2015 World Cup is concerned but I believe that a break in captaincy will do wonders for Dhoni. I am not saying that it has to happen during the middle of a series but may be after the Australia series or later part of 2013. We need to have a look at that," Gavaskar said The legendary opener felt that a break might give Dhoni an opportunity to put things into perspective and reflect on his game and leadership. "The break might be a voluntary one or an enforced break. But he needs time to reflect on his game and come back in a better way.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Brendon McCullum positive despite 'young' Kiwi team losing T20 series to Proteas

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has said his young team can take various positives from the three-match Twenty20 series against South Africa despite losing it 2-1 following their 33-runs defeat at Port Elizabeth on Boxing Day.
McCullum said the result is a disappointment given the way the Black Caps bounced back from a big defeat by levelling the series with a last-ball victory in East London, News.com.au reports.
McCullum said South Africa won the bigger moments in the game and the Kiwis could have done better at those moments.

Australia asks BCCI to shift Kanpur Test due to inapt international facilities

Australia has urged the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) to shift a Test match from Kanpur to some other venue during their upcoming tour due to lack of international facilities.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, an inspection team from Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) concluded that the amenities at Green Park in Kanpur, which has not hosted a Test since 2009, were inapt.
The Test match is expected to be moved to Hyderabad, however, there are few political hindrances to be sorted out before this can happen.
ACA chief executive Paul Marsh said neither they nor the CA were interested in playing at Kanpur, and added that the BCCI has been informed but no definitive response has been achieved yet.

Pakistan to host India in August 2013

The Pakistan Cricket Board has asked the West Indies Cricket Board to play a full series in July, so that it can host India in August 2013. The plan earlier was to split the series consisting of two Tests, five ODIs and a T20 International.

In an interview to PTI, a PCB source revealed,"The problem is now sorted out and our team will be touring (West Indies) in July as planned earlier. Pakistan is very hopeful and keen that India can be convinced to come to Pakistan because India has made it clear it does not have a policy of playing any bilateral series in a third country".

Michael Clarke becomes Australia's highest run scorer in calendar year

Michael Clarke has broken yet another record by making the most runs by an Australian in a calendar year on the second day of the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka, getting past former captain Ricky Ponting's record.

The Australian captain moved to 56 on the second day of the second Test at the MCG with a single to mid-wicket, bringing his runs total for 2012 to 1545, News.com.au reports.

With that stroke Clarke broke his mentor Ponting's record of 1544 runs in a calendar year (2005), and his average for 2012 is 110.35.

Australia 440-8 in reply to Sri Lanka's 156

Australia led Sri Lanka by 284 runs at stumps on the second day of the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday.

Australia were 440 for eight in reply to Sri Lanka's 156, with Mitchell Johnson unbeaten on 73 and Nathan Lyon yet to score.

Scoreboard at the close of the second day of the second Test between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday:

Sri Lanka 1st Innings 156 (K. Sangakkara 58; M. Johnson 4-63)

No issues between India and Pakistan cricketers: Shoaib Malik

Ishant Sharma and Kamran Akmal had been ready to go at each other’s throat, in Bangalore on Tuesday night, but there was much bonhomie between the teams on Wednesday afternoon.

That’s how it should be.

In fact, soon after India and Pakistan checked-in at the Courtyard by Marriott, one saw Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shahzad lunch together and often break into laughter.

Expectedly, Yuvraj was the most mast.

ICC fines Ishant Sharma and Kamran Akmal for confrontation

Ishant Sharma was fine 15 percent of his match fee and Kamran Akmal five percent.

The two cricketers were found guilty of Level 1 breaches of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Code of Code following an altercation during the match that Pakistan won by by five wickets.

South Africa beat New Zealand, clinch series

Henry Davids hit his second successive half-century and Aaron Phangiso took crucial wickets as South Africa beat New Zealand by 33 runs in the series-deciding third and final Twenty20 international.

Davids struck 68 at St George's Park in a South African total of 179 for six and Phangiso dismissed New Zealand's big guns, Martin Guptill and captain Brendon McCullum, in successive overs, effectively ending the touring team's challenge.

New Zealand finished with 146 for nine.

Spectator suffers fatal heart attack during Pakistan-India match

A 47-year-old cricket fan died late Tuesday following a heart attack while watching the first India-Pakistan T20 match at the Chinnaswamy stadium here, a senior police official said.
"Kamal Jain, who was watching the match from stands, felt uneasy during the 18th over when Pakistan was batting. Though he was rushed to the nearby Mallya hospital by ambulance, he died after admission," Deputy Commissioner of Police Ravi Kante Gowda told IANS here. Jain, who originally hails from Odisha, was working in a private firm in Bangalore. 

Captains play down Ishant-Akmal face-off

Playing down the face-off between Indian pacer Ishant Sharma and Pakistan batsman Kamran Akmal in the first Twenty20 international here, captains of both the sides said it was a minor argument which ended with an exchange of smiles between the two.
A heated argument erupted between the two and umpires had to step in to separate them and continue with the thrilling game which Pakistan won by five wickets. The two got into an argument when Akmal was declared not out after he was caught off a no ball by Ishant and was beaten on the next ball. 

Batsmen got out trying to play big shots, says MS Dhoni

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels the failure of middle-order batsmen to capitalise on the good start provided by openers led to the five-wicket loss against Pakistan in the first Twenty20 encounter here. Dhoni said India loss of wickets at regular intervals, after being in a strong position at 75 without loss in 10 overs, hurt the team badly.
"The batsmen got out trying to play big shots. We could have easily scored 200 if we had applied ourselves," Dhoni complained. On the umpire not giving a decision in India's favour when Ishant Sharma had got Shoaib Malik (57 not out) caught off a ball which climbed a tad above shoulder level, Dhoni said, "It was a fair decision but I am not sure if you are allowed to refer it (to the third umpire) or not.

Australia's Mitchell Johnson back to mercurial best in Melbourne

Mitchell Johnson's Jekyll-and-Hyde ways have both exhilarated and frustrated cricket fans Down Under for a number of years, and both sides of the paceman were on display as Australia dominated Sri Lanka in the second test on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old, recalled to the side after being dumped for Australia's first-test victory in Hobart, was at his awkward best at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, belted to all corners of the ground in his first spell, before finding his range after lunch with a withering burst of short-pitched bowling.

Dhoni is a special guy, says Wasim Bari

There is probably no other man who understands the load on Mahendra Singh Dhoni better than legendary Pakistan wicketkeeper and former captain Wasim Bari.

The man who held the record for the most Test dismissals for a sub-continent keeper till recently, when none other than Dhoni surpassed him, feels the Indian skipper is an extraordinary person. “Dhoni is a very special person and he’s done a remarkable job as captain,” Bari said in an exclusive chat with MAIL TODAY, praising the man from Ranchi for handling the pressures that come with leading the Indian team.

Kumar Sangakkara joins elite 10,000-Test runs club

Veteran Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara has become the eleventh batsman ever to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket, reaching the milestone on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test against Australia at the MCG.

Sangakkara stood tall in a poor opening session for the tourists, getting the 40 runs he needed to reach the five-figure milestone just before lunch, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Fans’ support brought tears to my eyes: Sachin Tendulkar

Overwhelmed by the tributes that have poured in ever since he announced his retirement from one-day cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, on Tuesday, said that the “love and support” of fans brought tears to his eyes.

The 39-year-old, who retired from the limited-overs format last Sunday, is in Mussourie for holidays, after announcing his decision.

Opening up on his Twitter page after the decision that left quite a few surprised, Tendulkar said the emotional reaction to his retirement left him overwhelmed.

Ashwin’s absence helped us: Mohammed Hafeez

Did India play it into Pakistan’s hands by not playing a specialist spinner? At least Mohammed Hafeez feels so.

Asked whether he was surprised not to see Ravichandran Ashwin in the Indian XI, Hafeez said: “We were a bit surprised… But his absence definitely helped us. The Indian pacers were bowling fast. So, Shoaib and I planned that if we can negotiate the new ball, we can easily dominate their spinners, who were not world-class in this match. I think they didn’t have quality of spinners.”

“I know Yuvraj is in great form… But if you are not a world-class spinner, it becomes difficult for you to perform in every match,” he added.

Australia 150 for 3 in reply to Sri Lanka's 156

Australia were 150 for three at the close of the opening day of the second Melbourne Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

Michael Clarke was on 20 with Shane Watson not out 13.

Australia skittled out Sri Lanka for 156 and trailed by just six runs at stumps after an eventful opening day saw 13 wickets fall in the second Melbourne Test on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Pak vs Ind 1st T20: Pakistan beat India by 5 wickets

Shoaib Malik and skipper Mohammad Hafeez made useful half-centuries as Pakistan registered their first Twenty20 victory over India, beating their arch-rivals by five wickets to take 1-0 lead in the two match Twenty20 series.
Needing ten runs in the last over, Malik smacked Ravindra Jadeja for straight six to finish the match in style. He remained unbeaten on 57 off 50 while Hafeez made 61 off 44 deliveries. After being restricted for a paltry total, India were given a rousing start when Bhuvneshwar provided the hosts three initial wickets. He castled Nasir Jamshed (2 off 6) before getting Ahmed Shehzad (5 off 7) caught by MS Dhoni. He uprooted Umar Akmal’s stumps before the batsman could get his eye in. 
Earlier, Indian batting suffered a sensational collapse as they were restricted for a paltry 133 for 9. Indian openers Gautam Gambhir (43 off 41) and Ajinkya Rahane (42 off 31) gave India a solid platform, putting up 77 for the first wicket. But everything changed drastically once Rahane got out trying to clear the extra cover boundary off Shahid Afridi. India lost nine wickets for an addition of just 47 runs.

Pakistan-India tour hit by coverage dispute

Pakistan's first cricket tour to India in five years faced a media blackout on Monday after international news agencies, including AFP, suspended coverage over a decision to bar their photo counterparts.

News outlets said they would not be filing any text or pictures after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refused to accredit the international picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images as well as two Indian agencies.
The five-match series is due to start on Tuesday with a Twenty20 international in Bangalore.

Sachin Tendulkar thanks his fans on Twitter

Sachin Tendulkar, in an emotional message on Tuesday, has thanked his fans for being supportive during his 23-year ODI career.
The 39-year-old, who announced his retirement from ODIs on Sunday, tweeted: “Words are not enough to express my thanks to each of you for all the love & support I have received over the years...& especially now in the last couple of days. Your expressions have brought joy to my heart...& at times a tear to my eye!... 
"Those magical moments of our ODI journey will stay with me for the rest of my life. Thank you so much.”

Big Bash League's popularity dips in second year

Despite the presence of several international stars, interest in the Australian Big Bash T20 League appears to be waning with television ratings and crowd attendance down from last year. The glitzy competition, the country's answer to India's mega-rich Indian Premier League, is in its second year after a successful debut in 2011.
It has managed to lure the likes of big-hitting West Indies opener Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Marlon Samuels, along with stars from other cricketing nations. However, local daily the Age has reported that television ratings have dipped by 30 per cent and crowd support by 40 per cent compared with the same stage of the competition last year
Mike McKenna, Cricket Australia's executive general manager, defended these numbers, pointing to extenuating factors. "Out of the 11 matches now, five of them have been rain-affected. Three of them have been impacted during the match and the others prior to the game starting," said McKenna who has responsibility for the Big Bash. "It has quite a profound effect on crowds and audiences when you have interruptions to games."

Pakistani players taking lessons from Inzamamul Haq to 'haunt' India

As India renews its bilateral cricketing ties with Pakistan after five long years, the Pakistan team is taking a few lessons from former skipper Inzamamul Haq on how to beat India.
Inzamam, who was appointed as a batting consultant ahead of the series, worked with the team during a week-long camp in Lahore, reports The Nation.
Inzamam, who has four one day centuries and over 2000 one day runs against India to his credit, has given many a sleepless nights to Indian bowlers over the years.
He said he has been teaching the players how to chase, how to set the target and what is required from the batsmen.

Mahela Jayawardene says Sri Lanka looking to create history by winning Boxing Day Test match

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has said they are looking to create history by winning the second Test match against Australia in Melbourne on the Boxing Day, which would be their first win on the Aussie soil.

Sri Lanka's best Test results in Australia have been two draws and nine defeats, including last week's 137-run loss in the first Test in Hobart, the Age reports.

Jayawardene said the Hobart pitch was difficult for batting on day five but with spinner Rangana Herath expected to find more suitable conditions in the next two matches.

Saeed Ajmal looking to break national record of 'most wickets in a year'

Pakistan off spinner Saeed Ajmal will be targeting to break the national record of 'most wickets in a year'- which is currently held by Saqlain Mushtaq who scored 101 wickets 15 years ago - in the three games left.

The 35-year-old, ranked number one in the world in the official ICC ratings for ODI cricket, has bagged 93 wickets for his country so far, reports The Nation.

Sachin Tendulkar should have retired after India-Pakistan series: Inzamamul Haq

Former Pakistan captain and current team coach Inzamamul Haq has said that Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar should have announced his retirement after the Pak-India series that begins on Tuesday in Bangalore.

Inzamam said Sachin's early retirement has marked the end of a golden period of the game, reports The Nation.

Du Plessis says Proteas anticipated Kiwis fight back

South Africa Twenty20 captain Faf du Plessis has said they had expected a strong backlash from the New Zealand team after the Kiwis lost the first T20 match but won the second match by eight wickets.

The Black Caps overcame a poor first outing on Friday in Durban, to put themselves back into the series with an eight-wicket win (D/L method) in the second match, Sport24 reports.

Du Plessis said that New Zealand has always been a great fighting team, and they never took them lightly.

Brendan McCullum says Black Caps carrying momentum ahead of Boxing Day T20

New Zealand captain Brendan McCullum has claimed that they are carrying the momentum with them ahead of the final Twenty20 match against South Africa on Tuesday after their thrilling eight-wicket win in the second match.

New Zealand chased down 169 in 19 overs in the second game of the series at East London yesterday, thanks mainly to opener Martin Guptill, who struck 101 not out, bringing up his century and hitting the winning runs with a four off the final ball of the game, Stuff.co.nz reports.

It was a much needed win after the side failed to deliver in the first game where they were dismissed for just 86 runs, a total chased down in the 13th over, the paper said.