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David Warner is back, exactly as he promised.



David Warner

This, Warner’s 25th Test century, felt extra special, maybe because there was so much going on around it.

David Warner said this was going to happen. On Christmas Eve, he told us. He told us he was feeling good. Warner told us that he had just been unlucky and out of runs, not that he had lost his form or was getting worse.

Warner promised that he would play like he used to. He told us that he doesn’t worry about the attack in South Africa because he faces the best attack in the world every day in the nets. Warner told us that he was still that kid from the housing commission in Matraville, Sydney, who didn’t know how to do anything else but fight when he was in trouble.

David Warner used his bat to tell us. He told us during his party. David Warner has came back. And it was as if he had never left.

Almost every one of his 25 Test centuries has been unique in some way. But this one felt extra special and like one of his best. David Warner hadn’t made a century in a Test match in three years, and the desire to do so was burning in him. When he lost in the Ashes last year with scores of 94 and 95, the pain on his face told us that.

He hadn’t reached 50 in a Test since March. That’s five Tests and ten innings. We should have known, though. He once had a 9.50 average over ten innings in five Tests. After that, he scored 154 and 335 not out in a row.

But some people thought that maybe Stuart Broad wasn’t the only one to blame for this run of outs when he was around the wicket and the ball was swinging. His mind was not where it should have been. He said that was true. The appeal against the ban on being a leader had been hard on him and his family.

He did strange things to get ready for the first Test of the summer in Perth. He was hitting in the nets with sunglasses on the day before the game. He went after the ball instead of letting it come to him.

He told us that his two chop-ons against West Indies were just bad luck. That he was in a good place when he stole a car in Adelaide. But they looked like a man who was looking for runs and trying to get back to the player he used to be. Then Brisbane came along. Kagiso Rabada’s ball was a real beast. Anyone could have used it. But the way he fought it and took his eyes off of it was different from how Warner used to fight.

Steven Smith and David Warner

This inning was so satisfactory because of this. Yesterday, he looked good from the first ball. His steps were precise. His swing at the bat was tight. His strike points were under his eyes. His judgment was as sharp as a razor. He was like the old Warner when he was in the middle. Chris Rogers, Joe Burns, and Matt Renshaw, who used to work with him, talked about his presence in the days before the match.

Warner was hit by Rabada, but he didn’t defend himself. He turned around and hit the ball off his nose behind square to get a boundary. Rabada tried again, but Warner got him through square again. Rabada pitched up, and Warner hit him between the covers with a check drive. Just a little push from a great place. No full-blooded flourish from his body, which had happened three times against West Indies and caused him to lose. It was well-planned and perfectly timed, but it didn’t even make it to the rope. But he got an all-run four because he was so fast and fit. This is the first of three in an inning.

He had good luck. He also knew it, and he was determined to make the most of it.

A cut in half of Anrich Nortje flew right over them. On the second day, he hit two fours by edging the ball between the slip and the gully. Lungi Ngidi’s swerving inswinger hit him on the inside edge and went past his leg stump for four. Nortje gave his helmet a quick glance, and it went four leg-byes.

But all but one of the edges came from soft hands, and they were just the result of him making better decisions in this inning than he had all summer.

The flat pitch was also helpful. On a 37-degree day in Melbourne, the fan-forced northerly wind made it feel like an oven, which worked in his favor. He is one of the fittest batters in modern cricket, and because he was so fit, his fast running between the wickets helped him score more runs than other players. Even though he might have helped bring down Marnus Labuschagne because he was too eager, But the fact that he was able to get a lot of all-run threes and fours in the blazing heat may have made it worth it.

David Warner Injured

His last test was right after lunch, when he was getting close to that elusive century. Nortje cast a spell that was just as strong and hot as the Melbourne sun. Almost every ball he threw for four overs was faster than 150kph. Warner dug out a 151 kph yorker that was swinging in. He moved around inside a 152kph bouncer that flew over Kyle Verreynne’s head for four byes. He defended a 155kph rocket on middle stump. Nortje kept getting closer and closer, but Warner never moved back. He was hit on the index finger, but he still tried to get back on strike by going for a second run.

After he got through that, Rabada gave him a gift he deserved down the leg side. He pulled it off just fine, which started a long and emotional party. His signature jump and kiss to his family were there. But he also turned his attention to the area where the media and possibly other people he was after were.

It was a happy accident that Steven Smith was there to celebrate with him. Because of many things, Smith and Warner will always be linked. Even though they were the best Australian batters of their generation, they had never batted together for 200 runs in a Test. Former teammates have often talked about an unspoken rivalry between the two when they were at the top of their game as batters from 2013 to 2017. A century by one of them would make the other score a century in response. But they had never really been able to work together.

In a 239-run stand, they tore South Africa apart and brought them to their knees. Warner ran into Keshav Maharaj to get to 200 as fast as possible, trying to avoid cramps and heat exhaustion. With an edge to third man, he got there. He got down on his knees to celebrate, and then he tried to jump again to celebrate. But his body locked up, and he had to leave the game hurt on 200 not out.

He finally died not because of bad luck, Rabada, Nortje, South Africa, or even the heat. He left the room with one last “I told you so.” But he didn’t want things to be any other way.

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1000 Runs in ODIs: Kohli’s Cricket Legacy




1000 Runs in ODIs: Kohli's Cricket Legacy

On Thursday, November 2, Virat Kohli achieved an accomplishment. He became the batsman to surpass 1000 runs in ODIs in 2023, following in the footsteps of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma. Not that,. He also joined Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Pathum Nissanka as the fourth players to achieve this impressive record in the 50-over format within the same year.

Stepping into History with 1000 Runs in ODIs

Virat Kohli celebrating 1000 Runs in ODIs with a jump on the field

Entering the realm of history, Kohli’s unwavering determination and exceptional skills were put on display during his match in 2023. Notably, the cricket maestro, now 34 years old, made an indelible impact by surpassing Sachin Tendulkar‘s record, securing the most number of years with 1000 runs in ODIs. Kohli’s consistent ability to perform at such an exceptional level has been a defining characteristic of his illustrious career, as he had previously achieved this monumental milestone in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019, before accomplishing it once again in the present year of 2023.

An Unforgettable Journey

In an intense World Cup 2023 clash against Sri Lanka at the renowned Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Virat Kohli’s pursuit of this historic milestone was realized with an impressive 34 runs. Despite facing challenges, including a rare duck against England at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, his overall performance throughout the year has been nothing short of spectacular.

Kohli’s memorable journey was highlighted by an unbeaten century during India’s triumphant seven-wicket victory against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune. Adding to his illustrious record, he solidified his stature with a brilliant 95 runs, making a significant contribution to India’s thrilling four-wicket win over New Zealand led by Tom Latham at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Pune.

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Shaheen Shah Afridi: Fastest to 100 ODI Wickets




Shah Afridi celebrating a wicket

Shaheen Shah Afridi, on Tuesday, October 31, achieved a remarkable feat, becoming the third fastest bowler to secure 100 wickets in ODIs. His outstanding performance during Pakistan’s World Cup 2023 match against Bangladesh at the renowned Eden Gardens in Kolkata led to this historic accomplishment.

A Landmark Moment

In the thrilling encounter, Shaheen clinched his 100th wicket in only his 51st match, dismissing Tigers’ opening batter Tanzid Hasan Tamim. The left-arm fast bowler displayed exceptional skill as he struck Tamim on the pads, prompting the on-field umpire to raise his finger. Despite Tamim’s referral to the third umpire using the Decision Review System (DRS), the replays confirmed the ball crashing into the stumps, upholding the on-field decision. Bangladesh lost their first wicket with the scoreboard reading 0 in just 0.5 overs.

Surpassing Preceding Records

Shaheen Shah Afridi not only secured this feat in record time but also outshone the accomplishments of esteemed bowlers preceding him. He surpassed the record of the fastest pacer, previously held by Mitchell Starc, who attained the milestone in August 2016 during an ODI against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Legacy of Excellence

Moreover, Shaheen shattered the long-standing record held by Saqlain Mushtaq, becoming the fastest Pakistani bowler to claim 100 wickets in ODIs. Saqlain had set this record on May 12, 1997, during an ODI against Sri Lanka in Gwalior. It is notable that among the Pakistani fast bowlers, the accomplished Shaheen Shah Afridi follows in the footsteps of the legendary Waqar Younis, who achieved the 100-wicket mark back in February 1993 against Zimbabwe in Sharjah.

Beyond ODIs

Demonstrating his prowess beyond ODIs, Shaheen has made significant contributions in Tests and T20Is as well. Since his debut in 2018, he has garnered 105 wickets in Tests and 64 wickets in T20Is. His exceptional journey began with a strong performance in the U19 World Cup in New Zealand. Notably, he played a pivotal role in Lahore Qalandars’ consecutive victories in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

A Testament to Talent and Dedication

Shaheen Shah Afridi’s rapid rise to 100 ODI wickets within 51 matches underlines his exceptional talent and unwavering dedication to the sport. As he continues to leave an indelible mark on the cricketing world, his journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring cricketers worldwide. With his remarkable achievements, Afridi has solidified his place in the annals of cricket history, etching his name as one of Pakistan’s most formidable and promising fast bowlers.

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ICC World Cup: Shoaib Akhtar says, ‘Mai India ki tareef kyu na karu’




Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistani fast bowler

Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has recently expressed admiration for India’s dominant performance in the ongoing 2023 ICC World Cup. With India securing victories in all six matches, Akhtar highlighted the team’s exceptional display across various aspects of the game. Although the recent batting performance against England in Lucknow was relatively modest, India’s fierce bowling attack, led by Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, proved instrumental in securing a remarkable win. This triumph not only solidified India’s leading position on the points table but also exacerbated England’s struggles in the tournament, leaving them virtually eliminated.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah laughing together on the field

India’s Remarkable Bowling Transformation

In his analysis, Akhtar emphasized the transformative impact of Shami’s inclusion in India’s playing eleven following Hardik Pandya’s injury. Acknowledging Shami’s outstanding performances against New Zealand and England, Akhtar credited India’s ability to win matches through their bowling prowess, showcasing a shift from their traditional reliance on batting strength. He commended the collective effort of the Indian bowling unit, particularly recognizing the strategic brilliance of fast bowler Bumrah.

The Indian cricket team is standing for the national anthem at the ICC World Cup

India’s Path to World Cup Glory

Looking ahead, Akhtar voiced his confidence in India’s potential to secure their third ODI World Cup trophy, highlighting the team’s upcoming matches against Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the Netherlands. Expressing optimism, he emphasized the significance of maintaining their unbeaten streak en route to the final, setting the stage for a potential historic ICC World Cup victory. However, Akhtar cautioned against compromising the successful bowling unit once Pandya returns to full fitness, warning against the potential detriment of a partially fit Pandya’s inclusion at the expense of a bowler.

Akhtar’s Praise for India and its Response to Criticism

Addressing skepticism surrounding his praise for the Indian team, Akhtar reiterated the exceptional nature of India’s performance, particularly in their ability to defend a modest total with a significant margin of victory. Undeterred by criticism, Akhtar reaffirmed his admiration for India’s exceptional cricketing prowess, urging acknowledgment and appreciation of their commendable achievements.

Virat Kohli gives a hand gesture on the field during a match

Shoaib Akhtar’s Perspective on Virat Kohli

Shifting focus, Akhtar’s history of praise extends beyond team performances to individual players, notably including former Indian team captain Virat Kohli. Reminiscing on Kohli’s resilience during a challenging phase in his career, Akhtar highlighted the pivotal role played by Kohli’s consistent century-scoring performances, leading to India’s victories. Recognizing Kohli’s contribution to the team’s success, Akhtar emphasized the significance of Kohli’s monumental centuries during crucial chases, solidifying his status as a crucial asset for the Indian cricket team.

In a comparison between Kohli and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, Akhtar acknowledged Tendulkar’s status as one of the greatest batsmen while highlighting the challenges Tendulkar faced as a captain. Drawing parallels, Akhtar expressed confidence in Kohli’s eventual resurgence, expecting him to return to his prolific scoring form once he finds his equilibrium.

In summary, Akhtar’s acknowledgment of India’s exceptional performance and his recognition of individual players’ contributions underscore the team’s formidable presence in the 2023 ICC World Cup, setting the stage for a potential historic triumph in the coming days.

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