ICC Test Rankings: Root's double ton guides him to third spot, Kohli slips to fifth - The Daily Guardian
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ICC Test Rankings: Root’s double ton guides him to third spot, Kohli slips to fifth

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Dubai [UAE], February 10 (ANI): England skipper Joe Root attained the third spot in the latest ICC Test rankings after scoring double ton while India skipper Virat Kohli slipped to fifth place following a 227-run defeat in the first Test.
Root, in his 100th Test, smashed a double century in the first innings against India and played a knock of 40 runs in the second essay.
Kohli’s 11 and 72 were not enough to maintain his fourth place in the standings as he dropped to the fifth spot. Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne also slipped one place and dropped to fourth spot.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam gained one place and secured sixth place while Cheteshwar Pujara lost one slot and moved to seventh place. Henry Nicholls (8th), Ben Stokes (9th) and David Warner (10th) gained a place each in the latest rankings.
Opener Dom Sibley is another England batsman to gain in the latest rankings update, his knocks of 87 and 16 helping him gain 11 places and reach 35th position, while their players also made the way up in the bowling rankings presently led by Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins.
James Anderson gained three places to finish at third place after taking five wickets against India in the first Test. Anderson is at his highest ranking since the start of the ICC World Test Championship while spinners Jack Leach and Dominic Bess are both at career-best rating points, moving up to 37th and 41st positions, respectively.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Biumrah have gained one place each and claimed seventh and eighth place respectively.
For India, Rishabh Pant’s knock of 91 in the first innings has helped him become the first full-time wicketkeeper from his country to reach 700 rating points as he retained 13th position among batsmen. Shubman Gill has progressed seven places to 40th position while all-rounder Washington Sundar is in 81st place after moving up two slots. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem too has gained two places to reach 85th position among bowlers.
Kyle Mayers, whose scores of 40 and 210 not out helped script an epic win in the first Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong, has entered the rankings in 70th position with 448 rating points, the best by a West Indian batsman on debut and the second-best ever on debut after RE Foster, who was on 449 rating points back in 1903 after scoring 287 on debut for England against Australia in Sydney.
Others to gain for the West Indies include captain Kraigg Brathwaite (up eight places to 53rd) among batsmen and the spin pair of Jomel Warrican (up 14 places to 62nd) and Rahkeem Cornwall (up six places to 65th).
For Bangladesh, captain Mominul Haque’s 10th Test century has lifted him eight places to 33rd. All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has gained four slots to reach 30th position among batsmen while off-spinner Mehidy Hasan has progressed from 28th to 24th position.
Pakistan completing a 2-0 sweep over South Africa is followed with good news from the rankings perspective as well, especially with regard to fast bowling.
Hasan Ali’s 10-wicket match haul that earned him the Player of the Match award, has lifted him a huge 21 places to 32nd position. With two other fast bowlers – Mohammad Abbas in 12th place and Shaheen Afridi on 30th (after gaining four places), their fast-bowling unit is arguably the strongest since 2007, when Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul were all ranked in the top 20.
Among their batsmen, player of the series Mohammad Rizwan has attained a career-best 16th place after scores of 26 and 115 helped him make a leap of 19 places in the list. Babar Azam has moved ahead of India’s premier Test batsman Pujara while Faheem Ashraf and Fawad Alam too have continued their ascent.
Faheem had scores of 78 not out and 29 in the second Test, which lifted him from 66th to 47th position while Fawad has gained four places to reach 74th position after aggregating 57 runs in the two innings.
South Africa’s Aiden Markram has advanced from 23rd to 14th position after scoring 32 and 44 not out while Temba Bavuma is in 49th position from 61st with 108 and 61 in his two innings. Anrich Nortje (up five places to 33rd) and George Linde (up 36 places to 74) have moved up among bowlers. (ANI)

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SYDNEY SIXERS SIGN SHAFALI VERMA, RADHA YADAV FOR UPCOMING WBBL

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Sydney Sixers on Monday confirmed the signing of Shafali Verma and Radha Yadav for the upcoming Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). At just 17, Verma, who in 2019 became India’s youngest ever women’s T20 international, is widely considered the best batting talent in the world and currently sits atop the ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings. On Sunday, she scored a maiden ODI half-century with a mature knock of 56 as India upset the might Australian team, snapping a 26-game win streak.

Verma is expected to form a lethal combination with Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry and Ash Gardner at the top of the order for the Sixers, giving the team the most exciting top four in WBBL history.

She will also enter the world’s premier women’s domestic tournament with having a good time at the front of her mind. “This is a very good opportunity for me and my goal is to just enjoy myself, to make some new friends and have fun,” Verma said in an official release.

“I want to play WBBL and back myself and just believe in myself.” In June this year, the right-hander became the youngest player, male or female, to represent India in all three formats of international cricket before she debuted for the Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred under Sixers’ Head Coach Ben Sawyer.

Not to be overshadowed by her teenage teammate, left-arm orthodox spinner Yadav arrives at the Sixers with a burgeoning resume of her own and sits 11th on the ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings.

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MOEEN ALI ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT FROM TEST CRICKET

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Moeen Ali on Monday decided to call time on his Test match career. Ali, 34, made his Test debut back in 2014 and went on to represent England in 64 Test matches. He took 195 Test wickets including 5 five-wicket hauls and scored five Test match centuries during his career. Ali in an official release said: “I’m 34 now and I want to play for as long as I can and I just want to enjoy my cricket. Test cricket is amazing, when you’re having a good day it’s better than any other format by far, it’s more rewarding and you feel like you’ve really earnt it.”

“I will miss just walking out there with the lads, playing against best in the world with that feeling of nerves but also from a bowling point of view, knowing with my best ball I could get anyone out. I’ve enjoyed Test Cricket but that intensity can be too much sometimes and I feel like I’ve done enough of it and I’m happy and content with how I’ve done,” he added.

Ali hopes that his Test career will inspire and open the door for other British Muslims to play for England. Ali added: “It always takes somebody to inspire you or takes somebody to think if he can do it I can and I hope there are a few people out there who are thinking that.

“I know he wasn’t English but someone like Hashim Amla, when I first saw him, I thought if he can do it I can do it, it does take that little spark. I’d love one day in 8-10 years’ time to say Moeen made it easier for me. There have been guys before me who made it easier, so you hope to open the door for someone else,” he added.

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EXPECTING A GOOD GAME IN SHARJAH AGAINST KKR, SAYS DC BOWLING COACH HOPES

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Delhi Capitals will be looking to register their fifth consecutive win in the IPL 2021 season when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

During a virtual conference on Monday, Delhi Capitals’ bowling coach James Hopes expressed that he expects a good game against KKR since both sides are in good form at the moment. “Kolkata Knight Riders’ coach Brendon McCullum wanted his team to be more aggressive in the second half of the season and they are certainly playing the way their coach wants them to play. They are playing a very attacking style of cricket and they have match-winners throughout their line-up, guys that can turn a game around very quickly. So we’ll set up our plans according to the conditions in Sharjah and we are just going to stick to our processes. KKR are in good form and we are in good form as well, so it should be a good game,” Hopes said.

When asked about the increase in aggression by the Delhi Capitals’ bowlers in the second half of the IPL 2021 season, Hopes said, “Having Rabada and Nortje, who bowl at a speed of 150+ km/h, in our attack has really enabled us to be aggressive. The fast bowlers prepare well, plan well and they understand the conditions very well and they also look after themselves.”

Hopes further added that he expects Delhi Capitals’ off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to have a massive impact in the tournament going forward, “Ashwin bowled beautifully the other day against Rajasthan. He put a lot of energy on the ball and I expect him to play a big part as this tournament goes forward. He’s a world-class bowler and I think he’s going to have a big impact as this tournament goes forward.”

While speaking about how the players are coping with the high temperatures in the UAE, Hopes said, “Good players always thrive in challenging conditions. They know it’s hard and we challenge our guys to actually enjoy it and play with a smile on their faces. Yes, it’s hot, but we have asked our players to embrace the heat. Great players don’t get sidetracked by conditions.”

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RCB WOULD PREFER KOHLI TO BE MORE AGGRESSIVE: STEYN

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Former South Africa and Royal Challengers Bangalore speedster Dale Steyn has said RCB would like their captain Virat Kohli to be more aggressive.“I think the guys prefer to see him be more aggressive, it seems to get him to play a bit more fluently. It kind of sparks the younger players too, a lot of the younger guys have massive respect for Virat, and they admire him so much that they kind of follow in his direction,” Dale Steyn said while talking on the Select Dugout.

“When he’s fighting fire with fire and nobody’s doing it for India, you can hear all the quicks, when they were playing against England recently, how they were talking about following their captain and they wanting to play fighting fire with fire. So, he does lead from the front in that aspect and RCB love it. He’s kind of built that thought around RCB now. It’s the kind of culture that they have got in that dressing room,” he added.

Harshal Patel’s hat-trick and three-wicket haul by Yuzvendra Chahal helped RCB defend 165 and defeat MI by 54 runs here at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

Earlier, Maxwell and Virat Kohli scored 56 and 51 as RCB posted 165/6 in the allotted twenty overs. Srikar Bharat also played a knock of 32 runs from 24 balls. RCB will next lock horns against Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday in the ongoing IPL.

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Roy, Williamson shine as Hyderabad beat Royals

Jason Roy and Kane Williamson played innings of 60 and 51* respectively as SunRisers Hyderabad chased the target of 165 in 18.3 overs.

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Debutant Jason Roy and captain Kane Williamson thrilled with the bat as SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) defeated Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 7 wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here at the Dubai International Stadium on Monday.

Jason Roy and Kane Williamson played innings of 60 and 51* respectively as SRH chased the target of 165 in 18.3 overs. Abhishek Sharma also played a crucial knock of 21* to carry his team over the victory line. For the Royals, their captain Sanju Samson played an all-important inning of 82 which in the end was just not enough. Chasing the target of 165, Hyderabad enjoyed a terrific start as their openers Jason Roy and Wriddhiman Saha amassed 57 runs in the first 5 overs. SRH duo gathered whopping 18 runs in the fifth over of Chris Morris.

RR had some respite after Mahipal Lomror struck in the last over of powerplay as he sent back Wriddhiman Saha to the pavilion. Saha walked back after scoring 18 runs off 11 balls. SRH score read 63/1 after the first six overs.Kane Williamson who joined Roy on the pitch continued the proceeding for the team in orange in the middle overs. With comfortable hammering of RR bowlers, the SRH score read 90/1 after 10 overs.

In the 11th over of the innings, all hell went loose on RR, as Jason Roy went berserk after scoring his fifty on SRH debut. Englishman along with his skipper smashed Rahul Tewatia’s over for 21 runs.

Jason Roy was sent back to the pavilion by Chetan Sakariya in the very next over. Roy walked back after scoring a superb 60 off 42. SRH had their hopes high after Mustafizur Rahman removed Priyam Garg for the first-ball duck in the 13th over.

Kane Williamson was then joined by Abhishek Sharma on the pitch and the duo brilliantly steadied the ship for SRH. The pair applied caution with delightful strokeplay and made sure to take their team over the line without any more setbacks.

In the penultimate over of the match, Kane Williamson reached his fifty after scoring back-to-back boundaries and also completed the run-chase with minimum fuss.

Kane Williamson and Abhishek Sharma remained unbeaten with scores of 51* and 21* respectively.

Earlier, Sanju Samson starred with the bat as Rajasthan Royals (RR) posted a score of 164/5 in their allotted twenty overs. Samson played an all-important inning of 82. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Mahipal Lomror also played crucial innings of 36 and 29* respectively for the team in pink.

Siddarth Kaul scalped two wickets, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma and Rashid Khan returned with one wicket each for SRH.Opting to bat first, RR had a shaky start after their star opener Evin Lewis walked back to the dressing room in the second over of the innings. Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck on his first ball as Abdul Samad caught Lewis on the fence.

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson then steadied the ship for the team in pink as the duo gathered 49 runs in the first powerplay. The pair continued with their carnage in the middle overs. In the 9th over, Sandeep Sharma got the important breakthrough for SRH as he broke the dangerous-looking stand between Jaiswal and RR skipper. Jaiswal walked back to the pavilion after scoring 36 off 23 balls.

Rashid Khan struck in 11th over for SRH as he removed struggling Liam Livingstone. Abdul Samad caught Livingstone in the deep. Amid this, Sanju Samson continued mixing his caution with some delightful strokeplay. Royals skipper soon crossed the 50 run mark in the 16th over of the innings. RR gathered 20 runs in that over.

Siddarth Kaul removed Samson in the last over of the innings. Sanju Samson walked back for 82 off 57 balls. Riyan Parag also got out in that last over as SRH managed to finish on a high at the end of innings. Rajasthan Royals (RR) innings ended on 164/5.

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Durand Cup: Mohammedan enter final after beating Bengaluru in hard-fought SF

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], September 27 (ANI): Century old local favourites Mohammedan Sporting (MDSP), overcame FC Bengaluru United (FCBU) 4-2 in the semi-finals of the 130th Durand Cup on Monday here at Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), to make their sixth finals of the iconic tournament.
Goals from Marcus Joseph, Faisal Ali, Brandon Vanlalremdika and Nikola Stojanovic made sure the Black Panthers quest for a third Durand title remained on course, despite a shock start to the game which saw FCBU talisman Pedro Manzi give his side the lead as early as 22 seconds into the game.
The scoreline, in the end, was a bit flattering for MDSP with United ending the game with 10-men and after tying 2-2 in regulation time. Sporting scored in each half of extra time to get the result, the close to 25000 local fans gathered at the stadium wanted.
MDSP gaffer Andrey Chernyshov went in with his trusted eleven and 4-4-2 formation in front of vociferous local support from the stands. Richard Hood the FCBU coach, started with a similar formation but with a first start of the tournament to Anup Theres Raj at left-back. Sanju Pradhan also started on the bench.
It could not have begun better for United with a move down the right flank involving Yumnam Gopi Singh straight after kick-off finding Manzi in space on top of the box. He was given a second bite of the cherry by the Sporting defence and made no mistake with a booming drive giving keeper Zothanmawia no chance.
The Panthers were stung and responded with ferocity. Milan Singh had the first good shot at goal but it was the inimitable Trinidadian Marcus who was destined to equalize for Sporting.
It was another one from the left of the box cutting across the keeper with his left foot. A trademark now almost. It was his fifth in this edition’s Durand putting him in running for the golden boot of the tournament for the second year running.
The Mohammedan attack line led by Serbian Nikola Stojanovic and ably supported by the likes of Azharuddin Mallik, Sk. Faiaz, Faisal and Marcus were displaying some slick football and stitched together quite a few attractive moves.
From one such move, Marcus found Faisal in the clear inside the box on the left and the youngster came up with a clinical finish, beating Kunzang Bhutia for the second time in the game.
The second half began as the first had ended with MDSP looking to take most of the initiatives. Quite against the run of play then, Kingshuk Debnath, a local boy, got Bengaluru back in the game, slotting home from a melee off a corner.
However, with a minute into added time, Manzi was shown red after a second bookable offence forcing Hood to bring in team fitness coach cum player Chelston Pinto to help his team fight through 30 minutes of extra time.
The change which made all the difference though was the one made by Chernyshov in the 83rd minute when he had brought on the pacy Brandon Vanlalremdika to replace Sk. Faiaz on the right.
The diminutive winger peppered the 10-man United defence in the second half with Stojanovic providing him ample support and supply.
In one such move in the dying stages of the first 15 minutes of extra-time, the Serbian found him in the clear inside the box. The Mizo had quite a bit to do with two defenders challenging him. He shrugged them off with two deft body feints, first inside then outside and unleashed a grounder with pin-point accuracy to beat Bhutia.
The final goal of the contest was fittingly scored by Stojanovic who blasted a penalty past Bhutia in the 110th minute of the game for a resounding scoreline for the local team. Marcus Joseph was adjudged the Man of the Match. (ANI)

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