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Wicketkeepers steal the show in Eng-Pak series

Kiran More

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England’s prolific wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, Pakistani wicketkeeper Mohd Rizwan has impressed one and all

It is rare for a wicketkeeper to get ‘Man of the Match’ or ‘Man of the Series’ award in cricket. It was, therefore, nice to see the wicketkeepers of England and Pakistan getting the best player awards in the Test series recently. I would like to congratulate Mohammad Rizwan of Pakistan and Jos Buttler of England for the same.

 It hardly matters that both of them have got the best player awards not because of their excellent keeping but for their superb performance with the bat. In this series, Buttler left a lot to be desired as far as glove job is concerned. Both of them performed tremendously well in the batting area. Buttler scripted the victory for the team. At one point of time, he was out of form. Even questions were being raised over his induction in the team.

However, Buttler not only recovered from his bad form but also fetched victory for the team and took his batting to a high level. For this, the England coach and selectors deserve congratulations. They, after all, took risk by giving such a player a chance whose wicketkeeping was just average. Silencing his critics, Buttler performed extraordinarily well with his bat and contributed a lot in England bagging the test series win.

At the same time, Rizwan also displayed superb batting skill, that too, at a time when most of Pakistan batsmen were almost surrendering to the English bowling attack. Rizwan displayed a good understanding of the game and played stroke all around and in all directions. Rizwan is a good wicketkeeper also. This is also a fact that it is very difficult to do glove work in England. Skill of anticipating the ball comes from experience. Rizwan did a great job in such a challenging situation and ensured his place in the team for the limited overs cricket. As regards Buttler, he had not done too much glove work in the test matches before. Now Ollie Pope is also in the playing eleven who has done wicketkeeping in one test. Jonny Bairstow used to have this responsibility earlier but now he is part of the team for limited overs cricket. But Buttler needs to improve upon his wicketkeeping. He does not look to be a wicketkeeper of even national standard. He has several shortcomings in his keeping. These shortcomings have come to the fore before the fast bowlers and spin bowlers during the series against Pakistan. Buttler missed catches as well as the chances to stump. Despite this poor performance, selectors relied on him. Now,  after scripting victory for England with his bat, Butler will be playing future tests with higher morale and confidence. His experience will help him a lot in tests in future.

In our time too, wicketkeepers were not lacking batting skilles. I was selected for the test team after scoring good runs in domestic cricket. But today, wicketkeepers’ batting skill is given too much importance. A wicketkeeper with tremendous batting skill fulfills the need of an all-rounder in the team. In this case, the team has an option to keep an additional bowler. Even good batting performance helps the wicketkeeper to cover up his weaknesses in the keeping area. This is true that good wicketkeepers such as Andy Flower, Kumar Sangakkara, Adam Gilchrist, Ian Healy and Mark Boucher used to turn the tables on rival teams with their superb batting skills in world cricket. M.S. Dhoni can also be included in this list, who won the hearts of all by virtue of his splendid batting. 

The writer is a former wicketkeeper. He has played 49 Tests and 94 ODIs for India.

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WORLD C’SHIPS: AIBA INTRODUCES WHITE GLOVES; WINNERS TO GET ­MEDALS, BELTS AND PRIZE MONEY

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The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has announced that the official gloves of the World Championships will be now white in colour replacing the red and blue ones.

With the title win, the champions will also receive medals and belts to keep and wear with pride. AIBA will award the winners of the men’s World Boxing Championships with designed medals and belts to commemorate their accomplishments. Medals will be made of solid gold and silver respectively.

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DENMARK OPEN: PV SINDHU MARCHES INTO NEXT ROUND

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India shuttler PV Sindhu on Tuesday marched ahead to the next round of the ongoing Denmark Open.

Sindhu defeated Turkey’s Neslihan Yigit 21-12, 21-10 in a match that lasted for 30 minutes.

The ace Indian shuttler dominated the entire match and her Turkish opponent was left struggling to search for answers.

Earlier in the day, India men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy progressed to the next round of the ongoing Denmark Open.

The Indian duo defeated England’s Callum Hemming and Steven Stallwood 23-21, 21-15 here at Court 3.

Earlier in the day, Srikanth Kidambi got the better of compatriot B Sai Praneeth in straight sets in the men’s singles 1st round of Denmark Open here at the Odense Sports Park on Tuesday.

Playing at court-2, Kidambi inflicted a 21-14, 21-11 defeat on Praneeth in just 30 minutes. With this win, Kidambi has now moved into round-of-16 in the World Tour Super 1000 event in Denmark.

Srikanth completely outclassed and dominated Praneeth in both games.

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DON’T MIX SPORTS WITH POLITICS, INDIA-PAK T20 WC MATCH SHOULD GO ON: PRAKASH PADUKONE

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India badminton legend Prakash Padukone on Tuesday said that sports and politics should not be mixed with each other, and the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan should proceed as planned.India and Pakistan are slated to lock horns against each other in the World Cup on October 24 in Dubai.

“According to me, the match between India and Pakistan should go on. Sports and politics should not be mixed together,” Padukone told ANI.

Earlier on Tuesday, Aam Aadmi Party had demanded that the Indian cricket team should opt-out of its match against Pakistan in ICC T20 World Cup in Dubai.

During a press conference, Atishi, AAP MLA from Kalkaji said, “We see people being attacked in Kashmir. I’m sure that even the Prime Minister agrees with the stand of not conducting the match (IND v PAK) as when in Opposition he used to question that when state-sponsored terrorism is taking place in India why should we play cricket with them?”

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Harbhajan Singh, Javagal Srinath among 18 new honorary members of MCC

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Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) on Tuesday announced 18 new honorary life members. MCC awards Honorary Life Membership (HLM) of the club to some of the world’s finest cricketers.

Eight of the 12 Test-playing nations are represented in this year’s list, which includes some of the most recognisable names in the modern game.

England’s leading Test run-scorer, Sir Alastair Cook, is joined by fellow countrymen Ian Bell and Marcus Trescothick, totalling more than 39,000 international runs between them. A fourth England star, Sarah Taylor, returned to the field this year, appearing in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, Charlotte Edwards Cup and The Hundred, and is recognised as one of the finest wicket-keepers of her generation.

Four South African legends have been awarded Honorary Life Membership, with Hashim Amla, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis and Morne Morkel all receiving the honour. Kallis’s 13,289 Test runs puts him third on the all-time run-scoring list.

Alex Blackwell and Damien Martyn of Australia are also included. Allrounder Blackwell won over 250 caps for her country across all formats of the games, and batter Martyn scored almost 10,000 international runs.

Indian duo Harbhajan Singh and Javagal Srinath both enjoyed fine international careers. Harbhajan is India’s third-highest wicket-taker in Tests, with 417 dismissals in 103 Tests, while Srinath is one of the country’s greatest ODI players, having taken 315 wickets and ended his career as India’s second-highest wicket-taker in ODIs.

Ian Bishop, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan all represent West Indies. Bishop took 161 wickets in just 43 matches, while Chanderpaul is West Indies’ most capped Test player (164) and only seven players have scored more than his 11,867 runs.

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BERRINGTON, BOWLERS SHINE AS SCOTLAND DEFEAT PNG IN GROUP B

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Richie Berrington’s 70-run knock and a spirited bowling performance helped Scotland defeat Papua New Guinea (PNG) by 17 runs in Group B of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground (Ministry Turf 1) on Tuesday.

Chasing 166, PNG got off to a horror start as the side lost five wickets and was reduced to 35/5. Tony Ura (2), Lega Siaka (9), Assad Vala (18), Charles Amini (1), and Simon Atai (2) all failed to leave a mark with the bat and Scotland was firmly at the top.

Sese Bau and Norman Vanua then put on 32 runs for the sixth wicket, but the required run-rate got a bit too much to handle and as a result, Bau (24) ended up losing his wicket to Chris Greaves, reducing PNG to 67/6 in the 12th over. Norman Vanua and Kiplin Doriga then provided a real scare to Scotland as the duo put on a quickfire stand of 53 runs for the seventh wicket. Mark Watt then dismissed Doriga (18) and Scotland needed 42 runs to win from the final three overs.

Vanua (47) however perished in the 18th over, and with this PNG’s hopes were dashed and Scotland registered a 17-run victory.

Brief Scores: Scotland 165/9 (Richie Berrington 70, Matthew Cross 45; Kabua Morea 4-31); PNG 148 all out (Norman Vanua 47, Sese Bau 24; Josh Davey 4-18).

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Spirited all-round performance sees Bangladesh defeat Oman in Group B

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Aspirited bowling performance helped Bangladesh defeat Oman by 26 runs in Group B of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground (Ministry Turf 1) on Tuesday.

Chasing 154, Oman lost its opener Aqib Ilyas (6) in the second over of the innings. Jatinder Singh and Kashyap Prajapati then put on 34 runs for the second wicket, but the partnership ended in the 6th over as Mustafizur Rahman dismissed Prajapati (21), reducing Oman to 47/2.

Jatinder then rallied Oman’s innings alongside skipper Zeeshan Maqsood and at the halfway mark, the score read 70/2, still needing 84 more runs to win from 60 balls. Both batters stitched together a 34-run stand for the third wicket, but as soon as Oman started to gain an upper hand, Bangladesh stormed right back as Mahedi Hasan dismissed Maqsood (12). Soon after, Jatinder (40) was dismissed by Shakib Al Hasan and Oman was reduced to 90/4.

Oman kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and in the end, Bangladesh registered a victory by 26 runs to keep their hopes alive of progressing to the Super 12 stage.

Earlier, Mohammad Naim and Shakib Al Hasan played knocks of 64 and 42 respectively as Bangladesh posted a score of 153. Opting to bat first, Bangladesh did not get off to an ideal start as the side lost its opener Liton Das (6) in the third over of the innings. Bilal had Das caught right plumb in front of the wickets. Soon after, Mahedi Hasan was dismissed for a duck by Fayyaz Butt and Bangladesh was reduced to 21/2 in the 5th over.

Mohammad Naim and Shakib then got together at the crease and the duo revived the innings for Bangladesh. The duo put on 80 runs for the third wicket, but as soon as Bangladesh started to gain an upper hand, Oman managed to dismiss Shakib (42) via a run-out. After Shakib’s dismissal, Bangladesh lost the wickets of Nurul Hasan (3), Afifi Hossain (1) and Naim (64) in quick succession and Bangladesh was reduced to 122/6 in the 17th over. However, in the end, Mahmudullah (17) ensured that Bangladesh posts a total of more than the 150-run mark.

Earlier in the day, Richie Berrington’s 70-run knock and a spirited bowling performance helped Scotland defeat Papua New Guinea (PNG) by 17 runs in Group B.

Brief Scores: Bangladesh 153 all out (Mohammad Naim 64, Shakib Al Hasan 42; Bilal Khan 3-18); Oman 127/9 (Jatinder Singh 40, Kashyap Prajapati 21, Mustafizur Rahman 4-36).

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