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Have total respect for Kumble as a cricketer, says Virat Kohli

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Have total respect for Kumble as a cricketer, says Virat Kohli

Posted on 23 June 2017 by GGS News

Port of Spain : India skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday asserted that he and the whole team had a huge respect for former head coach Anil Kumble’s achievements as a cricketer.
He, however, did not offer what led to Kumble’s resignation as coach on Tuesday, three days before the start of the limited-overs series in the West Indies.
“It’s his opinion, which I respect. I have total respect for him as a cricketer and what he has achieved [for the] nation, all the years that he has played. There’s no taking away that aspect of him at all. And we all respect him totally,” said Kohli on the eve of the first ODI of the five-match series against West Indies.“It’s [Kumble’s resignation] something that has happened right after the [Champions Trophy] tournament. One thing for sure is that I have had 11 press conferences that have happened during the Champions Trophy. We have created a culture over the last three-four years that whatever happens in the change room, we’ve tried to maintain the sanctity of the change room throughout.”
“That is what the whole team believes in. For us that is paramount. I’ve always respected that and we have continued to maintain that as well,” he added.
The 28-year-old did not offer anything more on the issue, saying the “sanctity of the dressing room” had to be maintained.
“Like I said, for me what’s most important is to maintain the sanctity of the change room and what happens in the change room is something that’s very sacred and private to all of us, and something that I would not express in details in a public scenario. As I said, his (Kumble) point of view is out there and we respect that decision,” he added.
Earlier, Kumble on Tuesday informed that Kohli had reservations about his work ‘style’ and his extension as the head coach, which prompted him to resign.
In a strongly worded letter, Kumble took to Twitter to reveal the reason behind his surprising decision.
Kumble said though the BCCI had, several times, attempted to resolve the misunderstandings between him and the captain, it was apparent that the partnership was untenable, and therefore, he had decided to move on.
The statement from Kumble confirmed the reports about Kohli’s alleged spat with Kumble regarding differences of opinion on selection matters.
However, Kohli before India’s opening encounter at the Champions Trophy against Pakistan, had rejected the reports of him having rift with the head coach, saying they were mere speculations.
Kumble was appointed coach in June 2016 for a one-year term by the CAC and was instantly successful. Under him, India won the Test series against West Indies, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia.
And he was being considered the front-runner for an extension till the 2019 World Cup, with Team India having won almost every series under him in the past one year.

ANI

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Shuttler Srikanth beats World No. 1 Ho to storm into quarters

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Shuttler Srikanth beats World No. 1 Ho to storm into quarters

Posted on 22 June 2017 by GGS News

Sydney (Australia) : Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth produced a rich vein of form as he bounced back from a game down against reigning World No.1 Son Wan Ho to book his place in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open Super Series here on Thursday.After losing the first game, the 24-year-old Indian rebounded strongly to clinch a 15-21, 21-13, 21-13 win over Wan Ho in a gruelling second-round clash that lasted almost an hour.

Srikanth, who entered the tournament on the back of his maiden Indonesia Super Series Premier title, has defeated Wan Ho for the second time in two weeks.

The Indian shuttler had beaten the South Korean ace in the semi-finals of the Indonesia Open last week.

Srikanth has now set up a last-eight clash against his fellow countryman B.Sai Praneeth.

Praneeth also cemented his place in the quarter-finals of the tournament after brushing aside China’s Huang Yuxiang 21-15, 18-21, 21-13 in his men’s singles clash that lasted one hour and five minutes.

Meanwhile, Rio Olympic silver-medallist PV Sindhu and ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal will also look to book births in the last eight when they play their respective women’s singles second rounds later today.

ANI |

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Hockey World League: After beating Pakistan, confident India eye Netherlands scalp in semis

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Hockey World League: After beating Pakistan, confident India eye Netherlands scalp in semis

Posted on 19 June 2017 by GGS News

London : India’s rampaging form would be put through a tough test when they take on world No.4 the Netherlands in their final Pool B match of the Hockey World League Semi-Final, here tomorrow.

India, ranked sixth in the world, are presently atop in Pool B with three wins from as many games, while Netherlands are placed second with two wins from two games.

But going by performance so far in the tournament, India hold an edge over Netherlands as they have so far recorded convincing wins in the tournament.

India defeated Scotland 4-1, Canada 3-0 before demolishing arch-rivals Pakistan 7-1 in their first three games.

Netherlands, on the other hand, beat Pakistan 4-0 before getting the better of Scotland 3-0 in their first two games.

On form, India are expected to give Netherlands a run for their money tomorrow, provided they can keep their composure on the turf.

With their place already secured in the quarterfinals, India would be hoping to keep up the good work and keep a clean slate going into the business end of the tournament.

Barring a few lapses early in their games, the Indians have been clinical so far in the tournament, controlling the proceedings in each and every match.

The performance of India’s forward-line has been outstanding with the likes of Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Talwinder Singh showcasing their brilliance with the stick by scoring some fantastic goals.

The mid-field, led by a talismanic Sardar Singh, and also featuring the likes of skipper Manpreet Singh, has been providing ample support to the strikers.

In the absence of key players like Rupinderpal Singh, India’s young backline, led by Harmanpreet Singh, has displayed gritty performances and conceded just two goals.

India’s reserve goalkeepers — Vikas Dahiya and Akash Chikta — too have been brilliant under the bar in the absence of regular skipper and one of the best custodians of the world, PR Sreejesh.

The Netherlands, who are taking on Canada later in the day, will nonetheless start favourites. The result of the match will decide the leader of Pool B.

Going by the performances so far, it would be hard to predict the winner tomorrow as there is hardly anything to separate the two sides.

The winner of tomorrow’s match will play the fourth placed team in the quarterfinals.

PTI |

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Hope teams will now come and play in Pakistan: Sarfraz

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Hope teams will now come and play in Pakistan: Sarfraz

Posted on 19 June 2017 by GGS News

London : “Not just today, not just tomorrow, this day will be remembered in Pakistan for years to come,” said a beaming Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed as he made a passionate plea to other nations to play international cricket in their country.
No major cricketing nation has toured Pakistan since the terrorist attack on Sri Lankan team back in 2009.
“It was a great achievement by the boys and full credit to them. Everyone will remember this achievement, not just for today or tomorrow but for a long, long time in Pakistan cricket. The boys were really motivated today. We came here as number eight team and won the tournament. Hope all nations now come and play cricket in Pakistan,” Sarfraz said at the post-match press conference.
“It is an unbelievable feeling which I can’t describe at the moment though. I dedicate this win to the people of Pakistan.”
Sarfraz spoke about the benefits of Pakistan Super League (PSL).
“We have had youngsters benefitting from PSL. Players like Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman were playing their first tournament and showed us that what they are capable of. Lot of credit also goes to senior players like Hafeez bhai (Mohammed Hafeez) and a brilliant spell from Amir,” said Sarfraz.
For him, Pakistan cricket has gone through rough times.
“For years now, Pakistan is playing home matches in Dubai. We don’t get the home advantage like other teams. Through this victory, I would like to appeal to the other teams to come and play in Pakistan.”
It was his day and as if he wanted to make a statement in his own style. Before the press conference began, Pakistan media manager announced that Sarfraz will make a statement.
Sporting a white blazer and a coruscating golden trophy on the table, he looked happier than ever. No one cared for those syntax errors due to language limitations. It sounded endearing as it was a sincere appeal from him.

PTI |

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Hard when slogged across the line, Virat defends Ashwin

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Hard when slogged across the line, Virat defends Ashwin

Posted on 19 June 2017 by GGS News

London : Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been on a downward spiral in one-day cricket but India skipper Virat Kohli feels it’s unfair to be critical of him given the challenges of bowling on flat decks in the format.
Ashwin was taken to task by rookie Fakhar Zaman as he conceded 70 runs in 10 wicket-less overs in India’s 180-run loss to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday night.
In fact, he got only a single wicket in three matches that he played, giving away 167 runs from 29 overs.The economy rate of less than six runs per over, keeping in mind the current ODI rules, is not an issue.
But for someone, who is a different beast with the red ball, Ashwin is not bowling enough wicket-taking deliveries. A testimony to that is a haul of only nine wickets in his last 10 ODIs across two years.
Asked if Ashwin needed to revisit his plans due to his poor ODI record in recent times, Kohli was ready to bat for his senior-most spinner.
“Every spinner has challenges on flat decks and every spinner could go for runs. Especially on wickets like these, where if a batsman gets going, it really becomes difficult for the spinner and people are slogging across the line and getting away with it,” Kohli reasoned.
“You can’t really do much as a spinner because you are making them play where you want to play, but still, they are executing those shots,” Kohli tried to explain the helpless feeling that his tweaker went through bowling to a marauding Zaman.
For the skipper, it is more important for a bowler to know if he is making the batsman play according to his plans.
“It is not humanly possible to not concede boundaries and sixes. You have to understand whether you made the batsman hit where you wanted him to hit and take a risk, or you have bowled a bad ball. I think that’s the only analysis a person needs to do and nothing more,” the skipper elaborated further.
He emphatically defended his decision to play two spinners despite them going for 147 runs in 18 overs during the second Powerplay.
“We created a combination after the loss against Sri Lanka. We didn’t want to be too predictable from there on in the tournament and two spinners together did a good job for us.
“I have no regrets in playing the combination that we played today, and we have stuck to the same ever since we lost to Sri Lanka. So I have no feelings otherwise about the combination,” Kohli stuck to his guns.
For the better part of the tournament, the team showed composure, assessed the skipper.
“We have shown the composure in pressure situations more often than not in this tournament, but that is no guarantee that you are going to do it every time. Obviously, your best effort is to try and do it every time, but cricket is not about doing well in every game that you play.
“You will have failures, and one team has to lose on the day, and today was our day to lose because the opposition played much better than us,” he admitted.
The top three batsmen failed together and no wonder, the captain was disappointed.
“Yeah, it’s always a bad feeling when you get out or the batting doesn’t work collectively, and everyone feels bad about not having contributed to the team in any way.
“So yeah, I also felt the same kind of emotions, but you know, you have played enough to understand that your job is done, you tried your best, and then you can’t control anything afterwards,” Kohli lamented.
The losing captain, however, was gracious enough to applaud the performance of the Pakistan team.
“In the end, you know, you have to accept and admire sometimes the skill of the opposition, as well, and see that, you know, they also have come to win a game of cricket.
“Not that we are not playing at our best; we tried our level best, but we just couldn’t make things happen today. But personally, yes, it does feel bad,” he concluded.

PTI |

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Pakistan 202-2 in 34 overs as Zaman hits ton against India

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Pakistan 202-2 in 34 overs as Zaman hits ton against India

Posted on 18 June 2017 by GGS News

London : Pakistan have scored 202 runs for the loss of two wikets in 34 overs after opener Fakhar Zaman scored a blistering century in the Champions Trophy final against India here on Sunday.

Opener Fakhar Zaman got a lifeline in the third over. He edged a ball by Jasprit Bumrah and it was caught by MS Dhoni, however, it turned out to be a no-ball.
Zaman went on to score 114 runs off 106 balls before being dismissed by Hardik Pandya. Azhar Ali was run-out on 59 after a mix up in the middle.
India on Sunday won the toss and elected to bowl first in at the Oval.
Kohli named an unchanged team for the match while Pakistan paceman Mohammad Amir returns to the lineup after missing the semi-final victory over England through injury. He replaces Rumman Raees.
The India-Pakistan clash, which is often referred to as the “mother of all battles”, is all set to once-again fill the cricket fans with enthusiasm and anticipation as the two arch-rivals meet each other for the second time in a month’s time in the high-voltage final of the Champions Trophy at the Kennington Oval here on Sunday.It was exactly two weeks ago when the Virat Kohli-led side thrashed Pakistan by 124 runs in their opening match of the eight-team marquee event at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham.

The cricket fans, not only from India and Pakistan, but across the globe had marked their calendar for June 4 when the two arch-rivals met each other for the first time since T20 World Cup in 2016. But little did they know that they would get another chance to rejoice.

Following the defeat against India, Pakistan had managed to bounce back in the tournament and hammered South Africa and Sri Lanka in the group stage before defeating favourites England in the semi-final to book their place in the final.

Defending champions India, on the other hand, registered a resounding nine-wicket win over Bangladesh in the second semi-final to set up another mouth-watering, high-octane clash with Pakistan.

If India manage to clinch the victory at the Oval today, they will become the first team to win the Trophy three times and join Australia as the second team to defend the title.

Meanwhile, Pakistan would consider it as a golden opportunity to avenge their first match defeat against India and clinch their maiden title.

Earlier, Kohli had said that the Group Stage game would not have any relevance in what he expects to be a very exciting summit clash.

“I don’t see any relevance of the first game here because you can never tell how a particular team starts a tournament. Some teams start very confidently and then they fade off. Some teams might not have the best starts, but come back amazingly, which Pakistan have done,” Kohli said on the eve of the much-anticipated, high octane clash.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur, on the other hand, had said his team has got no other option but to attack the Indian batters in order to give themselves the best possible chance to win the title.

Following are some facts as the two Asian giants meet in one of Cricket’s mega events:

—India have won four of their last five ODI matches against Pakistan; including a 124-run victory earlier on in this tournament during the group stage.

—This will be the fifth time these sides would have faced off in the Champions Trophy; the record is currently balanced with two victories each.

—Pakistan have reached a Champions Trophy final for the very first time; they knocked out England in Cardiff by a margin of eight wickets to get there.

—This is only the second time in India’s last five appearances at the Champions Trophy that they’ve managed to progress beyond the group stage; they did go on to win it on that previous occasion though (2013).

—India come into this game having won nine of their last 10 Champions Trophy matches (L1); that defeat came during the 2017 group stage at the Oval however (v Sri Lanka).

—Pakistan have lost seven of their nine previous matches at the Oval in ODI cricket (W2) whilst India have alternated between victory and defeat across their last six ODI outings there; they beat South Africa at the famous London venue last time out.

—If Shikhar Dhawan (India) reaches 50 in this game, he’d have got there more often than any other batsman ever in the Champions Trophy (currently done it on six occasions).

—Of the men to have recorded 10+ ODI innings since January 2016, Kohli (98) and Rohit Sharma (72) have the highest batting averages.

—Pakistan’s Hasan Ali has taken more wickets than any other bowler in the 2017 Champions Trophy; recording his 10 scalps at an average of just 17.2.

—Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India) has the highest batting average of any batsman ever to record 10+ ODI innings in games between these two sides; recording a rate of 58.4 across his 29 knocks in such encounters Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail.

ANI |

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Champions Trophy: India, Pak to battle it out at Oval today

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Champions Trophy: India, Pak to battle it out at Oval today

Posted on 18 June 2017 by GGS News

London : The India-Pakistan clash, which is often referred to as the “mother of all battles”, is all set to once-again fill the cricket fans with enthusiasm and anticipation as the two arch-rivals meet each other for the second time in a month’s time in the high-voltage final of the Champions Trophy at the Kennington Oval here on Sunday.
It was exactly two weeks ago when the Virat Kohli-led side thrashed Pakistan by 124 runs in their opening match of the eight-team marquee event at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham.

The cricket fans, not only from India and Pakistan, but across the globe had marked their calendar for June 4 when the two arch-rivals met each other for the first time since T20 World Cup in 2016. But little did they know that they would get another chance to rejoice.

Following the defeat against India, Pakistan had managed to bounce back in the tournament and hammered South Africa and Sri Lanka in the group stage before defeating favourites England in the semi-final to book their place in the final.

Defending champions India, on the other hand, registered a resounding nine-wicket win over Bangladesh in the second semi-final to set up another mouth-watering, high-octane clash with Pakistan.

If India manage to clinch the victory at the Oval today, they will become the first team to win the Trophy three times and join Australia as the second team to defend the title.

Meanwhile, Pakistan would consider it as a golden opportunity to avenge their first match defeat against India and clinch their maiden title.

Earlier, Kohli had said that the Group Stage game would not have any relevance in what he expects to be a very exciting summit clash.

“I don’t see any relevance of the first game here because you can never tell how a particular team starts a tournament. Some teams start very confidently and then they fade off. Some teams might not have the best starts, but come back amazingly, which Pakistan have done,” Kohli said on the eve of the much-anticipated, high octane clash.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur, on the other hand, had said his team has got no other option but to attack the Indian batters in order to give themselves the best possible chance to win the title.

Following are some facts as the two Asian giants meet in one of Cricket’s mega events:

—India have won four of their last five ODI matches against Pakistan; including a 124-run victory earlier on in this tournament during the group stage.

—This will be the fifth time these sides would have faced off in the Champions Trophy; the record is currently balanced with two victories each.

—Pakistan have reached a Champions Trophy final for the very first time; they knocked out England in Cardiff by a margin of eight wickets to get there.

—This is only the second time in India’s last five appearances at the Champions Trophy that they’ve managed to progress beyond the group stage; they did go on to win it on that previous occasion though (2013).

—India come into this game having won nine of their last 10 Champions Trophy matches (L1); that defeat came during the 2017 group stage at the Oval however (v Sri Lanka).

—Pakistan have lost seven of their nine previous matches at the Oval in ODI cricket (W2) whilst India have alternated between victory and defeat across their last six ODI outings there; they beat South Africa at the famous London venue last time out.

—If Shikhar Dhawan (India) reaches 50 in this game, he’d have got there more often than any other batsman ever in the Champions Trophy (currently done it on six occasions).

—Of the men to have recorded 10+ ODI innings since January 2016, Kohli (98) and Rohit Sharma (72) have the highest batting averages.

—Pakistan’s Hasan Ali has taken more wickets than any other bowler in the 2017 Champions Trophy; recording his 10 scalps at an average of just 17.2.

—Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India) has the highest batting average of any batsman ever to record 10+ ODI innings in games between these two sides; recording a rate of 58.4 across his 29 knocks in such encounters Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail.

ANI |

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Former cricketer Aamer Sohail accuses Pak of ‘fixing their way into final’

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Former cricketer Aamer Sohail accuses Pak of ‘fixing their way into final’

Posted on 16 June 2017 by GGS News

Karachi : Just two days ahead of the Champions Trophy final between India and Pakistan, former Pakistan opener Aamer Sohail has indirectly accused his national side of fixing matches in the ongoing eight-teammarquee event.
While speaking to a Pakistani news channel, Sohail created a storm by saying that ODI skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and his boys have no reason to rejoice as they have made it to the finals, not on the basis of their performance but through “external factors”.“Sarfraz needs to be told that you have not done anything great. Someone has helped you to win these matches. There is no reason for you (Sarfraz) to rejoice. We all know what happens behind the scenes.

“I can’t tell you who have won them the games. If asked, I will say that the prayers of the fans and God have won them the games. They have been brought to the final due to external factors and not on the basis of their performances,” Sohail said.
Sohail further warned the players to concentrate on their game and remain level-headed otherwise they would not be able to survive.
“The boys now need to be level-headed and focussed on playing good cricket. We all are well aware of everyone’s calibre. If you do something wrong, then we will tell you about the same. If you do something correct, we will appreciate you. So, they should keep themselves level-headed, otherwise they would not be able to go much ahead.”
Contrary to everyone’s expectations, Pakistan stunned favourites England by registering a resounding eight-wicket win to enter the final of the ongoing Champions Trophy here at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on Wednesday.
Following the win, Sarfraz said that although no one had expected them to qualify for the finals, they are happy to defy all odds and bounce back from their opening-match defeat to India.
“Nobody recognised us, nobody thought we’ll qualify for the final. Credit to the team and the team management for how we came back after the loss to India,” he said.

ANI |

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CT 2017, India vs Bangladesh: What’s the weather forecast? Which team will be through if the match is washed out?

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CT 2017, India vs Bangladesh: What’s the weather forecast? Which team will be through if the match is washed out?

Posted on 15 June 2017 by GGS News

 

New Delhi : Not so very long ago, cricket reporters went to work on days featuring India-Bangladesh games with a sense of overwhelming ennui. ‘Oh god not another one of those – what is there to write?!’ used to be the plaintive wail of those who found the game on their duty roster.

Not to disrespect Bangladesh, but what the hell was there to write, anyway? For the most part, games between the two sides were occasions for off-colour Indian batsmen to fill their boots and puff up their CVs while earning some easy points to move up the rankings ladder. The most you could hope for was a blue-moon result, an upset that allowed you to get all gooey and patronizing about underdogs and Robert Bruce and all that guff.

Not anymore. Bangladesh ranks alongside England as one of the most improved teams over the last two years and more – and where England has earned its chops through all-out aggression, the sub-continental team has rid itself of the easy-beats tag with all-round skill and attitude, with discipline when it matters and resilience when it is called for and above all, with the calm certitude that they belong at this level.

This was best exemplified the other day in the game against New Zealand. In that game Bangladesh, punching way above its prescribed weight, bowled to plans and fielded with panache to restrict the Kiwis to 265, saw the top half of its batting sliced away by the incisive pace of Trent Boult and Tim Southee, and still won with 16 balls and five wickets to spare thanks to the composure of Shakib al-Hasan and Mahmudullah. That is how champions, even putative ones, play – with the knowledge that no game is lost in the field that is not already lost in the mind.

There is much about this Bangladesh outfit that reminds you of the Indian team that stunned the world – and, inadvertently, triggered a tectonic shift in the cricketing power centre – back in 1983. And in that sense, just as India announced itself with the win over West Indies in the lead up to that World Cup, the real Bangladesh turn-around began with its 2-1 defeat of South Africa back in 2015 – the fourth in a sequence of bilateral wins that began with Zimbabwe and included Pakistan and India. It is easy to dismiss those results as having come on home soil, but “We gained self-respect by beating those sorts of teams,” Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza pointed out in the pre-match press conference. That self-respect has in turn enabled them to trust in themselves, to formulate plans for success rather than just show up to be rolled over.

Throughout this latest appearance on the world stage, they have had their bowling, led by a pace quartet with serious chops, lauded in song. Cricinfo recently carried a full-length feature on how Mortaza and coach Chandika Hathurusingha rebelled against internal typecasting and willing into being an emphasis on quality pace. What has gone relatively unsung is the fact that their batting unit has developed steel and character, to the point where it is now capable of holding its own against the best in the world.

The record tells the tale. Bangladesh batsmen have notched up three of the eight centuries recorded thus far in this edition of the Champions’ Trophy. England has two, no other team has more than one. They have also notched up the two highest partnerships in the tournament thus far – and the quality of the partnerships, by Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim (166) against England and the one between Shakib al-Hasan and Mahmudullah (224) the other day against New Zealand tell their own story.

“We never give up,” Mortaza said in that presser, underlining the single fundamental change in the team make-up. “And once you have played at your best, you know how well you can play, and then things can change. I know, on our day, we can do anything.”

That’s it, right there. And it encapsulates the chicken-and-egg paradox of sport: you have to win, you have to internalize the feel of victory, before you learn how to win (again, think of the differences between India ’79 and ’83). Bangladesh in recent times has tasted victories; they have tested their strengths and duct-taped their weaknesses, and now they have a lean and hungry look about them. “Such men”, Julius Caesar famously ventriloquized Shakespeare, “are dangerous.”

12:33 (IST)

Watch OPPO Gameplan with Ayaz Memon and Rohan Gavaskar where they preview India’s Champions Trophy semifinal against Bangladesh

12:14 (IST)

Yuvraj Singh will play his 300th ODI against Bangladesh today. Here’s Sachin Tendulkar looking back at some of his best innings in ICC events11:39 (IST)

Hello and welcome to Live coverage of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 second semi-final between India and Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Thursday.

The two teams have met in the last two ICC tournaments with Bangladesh giving India a stiff competition, while coming very close to winning the encounter in 2016 ICC World T20.

That being said, Bangladesh will be under pressure as it will be their first match in the semifinal of an ICC event, something which is second nature for their opponents India. India hold the upper hand in this clash of the Asian giants. However, it would be a mistake to take Bangladesh lightly based on their recent form. The winner will face Pakistan in the final on 18 June .

So stay tuned for live score and updates of second semi-final of ICC Champions Trophy between India and Bangladesh on Thursday.
Preview: Professionalism will be pitted against passion when defending champions India square off with Bangladesh in the second semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston on Thursday.

On paper, India are overwhelming favourites against the next door neighbours but in a game of glorious uncertainties, it will be foolhardy to count Bangladesh out of equation.
Especially after their inspirational ‘come from behind’ victory against New Zealand that paved the way for their semi-final berth.

India, after a clinical performance against South Africa, would like to maintain the same intensity against a team that could prove to be a proverbial banana peel for them.

Batsmen in form, bowlers on target and fielding top notch — Virat Kohli’s men have covered all bases so far and Mashrafe Mortaza’s men — after their lucky entry into semi- finals — will have to pull off something really special at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

For India, nothing short of a place in the summit round will satisfy them while Bangladesh are standing at the cusp of what could be the biggest day in their cricketing history, if they manage to pull off a victory.

A victory for India will be par for the course for which they won’t possibly get the credit that one gets for beating Australia, South Africa or England.

But a defeat will lead to unparalleled criticism from fans and critics alike with some of the uncomfortable behind the scene happenings (like the alleged Anil Kumble-Virat Kohli rift) again raising their head.

It will be interesting to see if India retain Ravichandran Ashwin or bring Umesh Yadav back as his pace scared the Bangladeshi batsmen during their 240-run thrashing in a warm-up game.

In case of Bangladesh, their aim will be to repeat the performance of the 2007 World Cup of opener in Port of Spain— still a ‘Red Letter Day’ in cricketing history.

Four members of that side — skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamim Iqbal — are stars of this current line-up.

One day cricket is one format where perhaps Bangladesh have the best chance of beating India. This is a format which is neither too long like Test cricket where temperament is challenged nor too short like T20 where quick-on-the-feet innovation is required.

Fifty overs is adequate time in which the tiny nation have gained its mojo in the past 3 years building a reasonably good unit that can put up a fight.

They have shown they could do that during the 2015 home series which they won 2-1, thanks to the then teenage sensation Mustafizur Rahaman and his deadly cutters.

But the 50-over India versus Bangladesh contests have never been short of drama — thanks to the overtly passionate fans and media.

‘Tigers’, as they are referred to have such a passionate following that their country’s media has been successfully able to ‘marry’ nationalism with cricket taking it to an altogether different level.

An interesting anecdote will reveal how cricket and nationalism has been inter-linked in Bangladesh’s social life and even cricketers have been voluntarily a part of it.

It is learnt that the entire Bangladesh team was watching the England versus Australia game together. Once England’s victory ensured Bangladesh’s qualification, their strike bowler Taskin Ahmed started singing a popular song with others joining in chorus.

The song is the extremely popular Bengali rendition ‘Amra Korbo Joy’ of Pete Seeger’s iconic ‘We Shall Overcome’. The entire team joined in chorus and they uploaded the video on facebook, which acquired millions of hits.

Bangladeshis treat cricket as more than a game. If cricket is religion in India, it’s beyond that in Bangladesh. It’s a getaway from all the worries of poverty, unemployment and other teething issues.

The 2015 World Cup quarter-final against India at the MCG still sticks out like a sore thumb for the Bangladesh players and fans alike.

They still believe that Rohit Sharma was out as Rubel Hossain bowled a perfectly legal delivery. One can’t justify that given that even if 40 runs were deducted from Rohit’s final score of 137, Bangladesh would have still lost that game.

They believe that Mahmudullah Riyadh could have won them the match had Shikhar Dhawan’s contentious claim for a catch at the boundary line not been upheld by the umpires.

The one-run defeat at Bangalore in a ICC World T20 match last year still hurts them bad — a testimony to which was Mushfiqur Rahim’s classless tweet after India’s semi-final departure.

The former skipper had to delete it after instructions from the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

While coach Chandika Hathurusingha tries to instill some sense of calmness playing the ‘underdog card’, there are people in Bangladesh camp, who already, in their dreams, have set their foot in the final.

Just man to man— Bangladesh are no match for the Indian team despite having quality in their ranks.

The opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are far better than Tamim Iqbal or Soumya Sarkar. However, Tamim has been in good form in the tournament despite a strike-rate in mid 70s.

No one in their dreams would compare Imrul Kayes or Sabbir Rahaman with Virat Kohli’s class.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a legend in 50-overs cricket where Mushfiqur Rahim is still an inconsistent player. Mahmudullah Riyadh is a gutsy match-winner but Yuvraj Singh playing his 300th match is in a different league.

Mashrafe, Taskin, Rubel and Mustafizur are a good attack on a given day and that’s Bangladesh’s best chance to upset India. But even there, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya have more quality.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Dinesh Karthik, Mohammed Shami.

Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahaman, Mahmudullah Riyadh, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahaman, Taskin Ahmed, Mehedi Hossain Miraz, Mossadek Hossain, Sunzamul Islam, Shafiul Islam.

With inputs from PTI

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ICC Champions Trophy, Highlights: Pakistan storm into final with crushing win over England

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ICC Champions Trophy, Highlights: Pakistan storm into final with crushing win over England

Posted on 15 June 2017 by GGS News

New Delhi : Not many would have expected Pakistan to march into the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final. They didn’t get off to an ideal start in the tournament but recovered well after the India defeat and beat South Africa and Sri Lanka in the group stage. In the semi-final, the Sarfraz Ahmed-led unit was up against tournament favourites England and they completely outplayed the opposition. Pakistan skipper was a happy man after the win and felt chasing worked for his side.
“We bowled very well and after that the batting was good too. Mohammad Amir wasn’t playing but Raees came in and did well. We elected to bowl and chase again,” said Sarfraz at the post-match presentation.
India outplayed Pakistan in their opener but Pakistan raised their game for the remaining matches. Sarfraz is ready for any opposition and hopes to do well in the final.
“After India, every game was a knockout game, I said to the players to just play your game,” said Sarfraz. On playing a possible rematch with the neighbours, Sarfraz said, “Both teams are playing well, so we will play whoever gets through.”
The skipper lavished praise on Hasan Ali who changed the game for Paksitan in the middle overs with a brilliant spell. “He’s very impressive, hopefully he will do that in the final;. Whenever he comes on he’s getting wickets,” Sarfraz concluded.
Losing skipper Eoin Morgan said England didn’t adapt to the conditions on offer for the semi-final against Pakistan.
“One thing we didn’t do was adapt to conditions, coming from Edgbaston to a used wicket, Pakistan did that well and played better. We did prepare, Pakistan bowled well but we didn’t adjust and 200 isn’t competitive, 250-270 would be a good score. We bowled okay but 200 was well under par. We continue to learn, everything we did was calculated, but Pakistan had played on the wicket previously and that helped. You have to adapt in knockout cricket, so it’s an important lesson,” said Morgan.
Hasan Ali, who is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, spoke about how Azhar Mahmood helped him plan.
“It’s a big match, so we focused on our bowling. My coach Azhar helped me a lot (after India game), he gave me the plan and I implemented it. Tomorrow is my brother’s birthday and I dedicate this (man of the match award in the semi-final) to him.”

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