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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

No Indian in Top-20 Test batsmen, Sachin Tendulkar slips to 22nd

Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday slipped out of the list of top-20 Test batsmen after his awful run in the just-concluded four-match series against England while Australia skipper Michael Clarke regained the numero uno position.
Tendulkar, who dropped three places to 22nd, managed to aggregate a mere 112 runs with a lone half-century in the Kolkata Test. The other notable Indian batsmen like Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara also slipped in the rankings, dropping a notch to 25th and 26th respectively Virat Kohli gained four places to be ranked 37th while skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni remained static at 38th. In bowling, Pragyan Ojha lost four places to be ranked ninth while R Ashwin made it to the 20th position after gaining two spots.

Touring India is much easier now: Geoffrey Boycott

England batting legend Geoffrey Boycott feels that India are no longer the force it used to be and touring the country has become much easier now a days for cricket playing nations. Saying that India are going through a transition phase, Boycott singled out a few star Indian cricketers who according to him are past their prime.
"India are not the force they have been in the past. Two great batsmen have retired in VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid while Sachin Tendulkar is no longer the great player he once was," Boycott wrote in his column for The Daily Telegraph. 

IPL 6: Deccan Chargers changed to Sun Risers

The IPL's Deccan Chargers franchise will be known as Sun Risers from the upcoming season, it was announced on Tuesday.

The Sun TV Network, which bought the cash-strapped franchise earlier this year for a whopping Rs 425.2 crores, have chose the new name. Deccan, who won the 2009 IPL, was terminated by the BCCI this year.

Wasim Akram hails Bangladesh's decision to tour Pakistan

Legendary paceman Wasim Akram Tuesday hailed Bangladesh's decision to tour Pakistan next month, saying it was an important step on the road to reviving international cricket in the country.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) Monday said it has agreed in principle to tour Pakistan to restore international cricket, which has been suspended since militant attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.
BCB spokesman Jalal Yunus told AFP in Dhaka that Pakistan had proposed a one-day international and a Twenty20 game to be played in Lahore on January 12 and 13.
"It's a welcome decision and I hope that the tour takes place as agreed because Pakistan badly needs international cricket and one series will convince other countries to tour," Wasim told reporters.

BCCI rejects demand to cancel Indo-Pak series

The BCCI on Tuesday shot down political party BJP's demand to cancel India's limited-overs series with Pakistan at home in the wake of visiting Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik insulting India. The board insisted that the matches would be held as scheduled.
"There is no question of calling off the tour. All the arrangements have been made and the tour was planned much earlier. Politics should not be mixed with sports and the tour will go on," senior BCCI official and IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla told PTI

Mahendra Singh Dhoni can take India forward, feels Rahul Dravid

The clamour for Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s removal as India’s captain might be becoming shriller by the day but former skipper Rahul Dravid feels he is the man to take the team forward as there is no viable alternative in sight.
“At the moment I don’t really see a viable alternative. I really think Dhoni can be the man to take India forward if he has the energy, passion and the enjoyment to do it. That’s again the key,” Dravid told ESPNCricinfo. “It’s really going to come down to a lot of these players actually sitting back themselves, once the emotion has gone back, and calmly reassessing where they’re at, and their roads to the future and the joy and enthusiasm they have to take Indian cricket forward. If Dhoni has it, I believe he is the right man to do it but that’s really up to him to decide,” he said.

No evidence of ball tampering in Hobart Test: ICC

The ICC match referee, Chris Broad issued a statement and clarified after the media reported incidents of ball tampering during the first Test between Australia and Sri Lanka which concluded here on Tuesday.
"The umpires frequently inspect the ball during play, and did so again after they had reviewed the video footage in question on Sunday. They found no evidence to suggest that the condition of the ball had been changed. 
"During the tea interval on that day, I spoke with Australia coach Mickey Arthur and told him that the umpires will continue to inspect the cricket ball regularly, and monitor the actions of all players.

Australia face ball tampering claims

ICC match referee Chris Broad said Tuesday he had received no official complaint from Sri Lanka despite reports about alleged ball tampering by Australia in the first Hobart Test match.
Sri Lanka's team management has expressed concerns over footage it believes shows paceman Peter Siddle tampering with the ball during the first innings.
The tourists' team manager Charith Senanayake said he had spoken with the International Cricket Council officials about the matter.

Shane Watson tipped to lead Oz in Boxing Day Test if Michael Clarke fails to recover

Shane Watson is expected to lead Australia in the second Test match against Sri Lanka, starting on December 26, if captain Michael Clarke fails to recover from a strained hamstring, which he suffered during the Hobart Test.
In a remarkable irony, the injury-plagued vice-captain could inherit Australian sport's top job because Clarke was forced to retire hurt while batting on Monday in Australia's second innings.
Clarke went for scans after play on Monday and should know by Tuesday whether he can play the next Test in Melbourne.

'Andy Flower now indisputably England's best-ever coach due to ability to adapt'

Andy Flower can now be called England's best-ever coach due to his ability to adapt and change methods when they are not working, according to senior cricket writer Andy Bull.
Bull said Flower was brave enough to change his methods to help England secure a historic 2-1 Test series win over Indian on their home turf after 2012 had become the worst calendar year in more than a decade.
"England started 2012 as the best Test team in the world and yet lost seven Test matches and two series, a record, which made it their worst calendar year in more than a decade. The ship did not just drift off course, it started to sink," Bull wrote in his column for the Guardian.

'Out of favour' Brad Haddin shock contender to replace Michael Clarke as 'specialist' batsman

Out of favour former wicketkeeper Brad Haddin is a shock contender to return to the Australia Test side as a specialist batsman if captain Michael Clarke is ruled out of the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka because of a hamstring injury.
Shane Watson would likely be promoted to replace Clarke as the captain of the Australia team for the second Test.
There are various contenders to replace Clarke in the Test team like Alex Doolan, Rob Quiney and Usman Khwaja, but the one surprising name that has emerged is of Haddin, who hasn't wore his baggy green since their Caribbean our this year, News.com.au reports.

Dhoni hopes 'irreplaceable' Sachin Tendulkar continues playing Test cricket

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has expressed hope legendary Sachin Tendulkar keeps playing Test cricket for the country despite poor run of form.
The veteran great managed just 112 runs in six innings in his side's 2-1 defeat by England.
Dhoni said great players like Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid are hard to replace, and added that India team is going through a tough phase similar to when they lost in 2007 World Cup.
When asked if the 39-year-old was going to play Test cricket again, Dhoni said: "I hope so."

Nasser Hussain says England's ruthless approach helped them clinch historic series win in India

Former Test captain Nasser Hussain believes the ruthless approach which England applied after losing the first Test match in Ahmedabad helped them clinch a historic 2-1 series in India.
"The first Test in Ahmedabad may have seen England beaten heavily but the second innings there proved a turning point both in this series and in the future of this team. Without it things could look very different now," Hussain wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
"But when Alastair Cook scored a big hundred in a losing cause in Ahmedabad in that second innings things changed," he added.

Big Bash League hindering Test cricket's growth in Australia

The sparkling Big Bash League is freezing Test cricket's growth in Australia, and something needs to be done to preserve the longest form of the game, according to senior cricket writer Peter Badel.
"Cricket Australia (CA) faces some major promotional challenges to reinvigorate Test cricket in the hearts and minds of the Australian public," Badel wrote in his column for News.com.au.
"And, ironically, the greatest cannibalistic threat to the five-day game is coming from within, via the Big Bash, the very concept intended to cultivate and complement the sport's growth," he added.
"CA boss James Sutherland and his marketing boffins should be deeply alarmed by the feeble crowd figures for the first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart," he further wrote.

Dirk Nannes says would love to be part of Oz T20 team again

Fast bowler Dirk Nannes has claimed he would love to play for Australia again in the Twenty20 format, adding he felt absolutely duded by selectors when dropped at the start of last year on the grounds of following a youth policy before picking 40-year-old Brad Hogg 12 months later.
Nannes, who has represented Australia and Holland, and 12 T20 teams in seven different countries, has been brilliant in his first two games for the struggling Sydney Thunder.

Aus vs SL: Australia beat Sri Lanka by 137 runs in 1st Test

Australia beat Sri Lanka by 137 runs to win the first Test in Hobart late on the last day on Tuesday.
The Australians claimed six wickets in the final session to take a 1-0 lead in the series with two Tests to play in Melbourne and Sydney.
Pace bowlers Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc bowled Australia to victory after it appeared that Sri Lanka may hold on for a gutsy draw.
Starc claimed five wickets for 63 and Siddle captured four for 50 to finish with nine wickets for the match.