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England will have a chance to “show the world how great they are” with the return of Ben Stokes.



Ben Stokes

England will be led by Ben Stokes at the Bay Oval in New Zealand on Thursday, which is significant because it is not.

The young Christchurch renegade, now 31, is the face of the English cricket world. Although not a fan of suits, he cuts a fine figure in a blazer.

Both here in Mount Maunganui and next week in Wellington, he will be accompanied by relatives and friends from his youth. Considering how often he returns to his homeland and how often these two teams face off, it’s not so much a homecoming as a programmed return. Stuart Broad, who is currently on his fifth tour of New Zealand, will not be long before he is granted dual citizenship.

Be where your feet are has become one of Brendon McCullum’s catchphrases since he took his main job at the beginning of last summer. Stokes, on the other hand, seems to be where his feet are. His decisions in the present are influenced by all the places he’s been and all the things he’s done. And unlike most people, he puts more weight on the successes than the failures.

This is ultimately the basis for his captaincy. Based on the lessons learned from past successes and the corresponding work put in, a record of nine wins from ten tests has been established so far. In addition to his 89 appearances in the longest format, he has also taken the lead in two World Cup limited overs and one documentary. When it comes to rich franchise opportunities and just time, he is one of the most sought-after figures in the world. He now wishes the same for others.

Ben stokes
The first game of Stokes’ full-time tenure was a win against New Zealand.

Amid the English press pack, he declared, “I am at a stage today where I’d much rather shape other people’s careers than try to establish my own.” “Over the years I have played a lot of cricket and achieved some fantastic things with some outstanding teams. As captain today, I believe I have a real desire to get the best out of the players in this team, as well as any players who join us in the future.

So one of my goals as captain of the England national team is to help some players in the locker room have wonderful careers. If I can help with that in any way, I’ll be happy.

With old and modern, you can already see that. Having set their sights on retirement in 2022, Broad and James Anderson currently seem to be having the most fun in years. There is “no better time to be playing Test cricket for England,” said Ben Duckett, who made his comeback to the side against Pakistan after a six-year absence. It’s all thanks to Stokes, who has removed the demands of the format while retaining all the privileges. He is not the first in his career to accomplish a difficult feat.

There are few influences that are not limited to cricket or even real life. At Durham, where he made the first team, his captain was Paul Collingwood, “who was willing to let the players he had have their say in public… He recognised that at the moment he had a team of guys who wanted to go out and play the game and needed that.”

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Another is Eoin Morgan, who captained Stokes in 103 of his 137 ODI and T20I appearances before announcing his retirement from all forms of cricket on Monday. He said with a knowing grin, “Obviously I don’t have to go into too much detail about how he did it. During this metamorphosis with the red ball, almost all of Morgan’s guiding principles that emerged during England’s revolution with the white ball have prevailed.

The third and most unexpected character is Don Collier, played by Brad Pitt in the 1945 film Fury. In this film, Don Collier is a tank commander who must motivate his troops to cross Germany in the final weeks of the World War II. According to Stokes, “It’s about leading by example by doing and saying something, and when you say something, you do it, because then you get a really positive reaction”

Stokes continued by explaining that failure can occasionally be beneficial to the group. In a battle, things do not quite work out that way. But in a game where mistakes are so costly, Stokes’ behaviour on the field, especially when he has a bat in his hand, shows that he expects as much from himself as he does from his teammates. Especially when it comes to quelling personal fears for the good and interest of the group. McCullum, however, also gets the credit where credit is due.

Stokes said the player “took a lot of his experience from the amount of cricket he played and just tried to let all that go and then tried to take it off the other guys’ shoulders.” “And that comes from not only what we say and try to do on the field, but what we do off the field.

“Just allow the guys to express themselves honestly without putting more pressure on their shoulders. The guys in the locker room are setting standards by trying to block out any noise from outside our locker room that I feel may have intruded on occasion in the past.”

Of course, winning is the real indicator of a good team. Despite what some in and around the England team might argue, the three wins in nine months, plus the draw against India in the summer of 2021, strongly suggest that the team is enjoying itself. Stokes acknowledges that despite the emphasis on attitude, the data occasionally helps to further support improvements in form and approach.

“I wouldn’t say that we’re actively trying to destroy these signs. I suppose it’s just something that comes out of our approach But no, before every series we don’t sit down and decide, “These records have to be broken; let’s go out and try to do it.” I’ve never been one to set targets in terms of runs, wickets and other statistics, because if you don’t achieve them, you might feel that your performance was sub-par.

“When I stop playing, I’ll look back on my career and count the number of times I’ve contributed to an England win rather than just scoring runs and taking wickets. I enjoy being involved. But I believe everyone wants to play by choice, to show others their talent.”

Despite the quiet tone of these two games, they could be viewed positively for several reasons. Success could boost optimism ahead of a summer that includes a one-off game against Ireland before heading into the big but focused Ashes series. England have not won a series or a Test here since 2008.

As well as the difficulty of getting the pink ball to shine, the unpredictable weather of Cyclone Gabrielle is another factor to consider. In many ways, the special nature of the upcoming event is a blessing in disguise compared to what lies ahead next year. Given that England have lost five of their six day-night matches, this is another tough test of the team’s ideals embedded inthe game.

Still, it’s hard to predict anything but an England victory in the next two weeks, partly because of the inferior opposition, but also because of the commitment and conviction of the players, who want to be inspired rather than stopped by the past. The latter is undoubtedly the motivating factor they attribute to their selfless leader, who is a simple man.

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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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