Even though India’s No. 6 got off to a slow start, he took advantage of his chances and attacked spin better than any of his teammates.
When India’s Deepak Hooda came up to bat in the first T20I against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, they were down to 77 for 4 in the 11th over after being strangled by spin. The pitch wasn’t a typical one at Wankhede, where batters could play their shots without worrying about the boundaries.
Maheesh Theekshana’s bowling was flat and didn’t have much length or width. One of these balls got Shubman Gill, who was making his first appearance, lbw on the back foot for 7. Sanju Samson went after Dhananjaya de Silva’s offbreaks in the seventh over to speed up the scoring, but he hit one to short third for 5. Ishan Kishan was batting when Wanindu Hasaranga came on. He threw one googly after another, and the batter was caught at deep midwicket when he tried to slog sweep.
After 11 overs, Sri Lanka’s spinners had taken three of the four wickets and only given up 22 runs. India was in a dangerous position at 78 for 4, and said that their total would be around 152. This would be below par on a ground with short boundaries, especially since dew was expected later and Arshdeep Singh had to be taken out of the game due to illness.
Hooda was out on the first ball he faced, which was another wrong’un from Hasaranga. He then took singles off of his next eight balls, six of which were bowled by spinners. India only had 101 runs left with five overs left, and Hardik Pandya was also back in the dugout at this point. The forecaster thought it would be 142.
Theekshana came back to finish his last over and threw a short, loose ball, which doesn’t happen very often. By then, Hooda had faced nine balls without making a single run, but he was ready. Even if your team is losing, you must take advantage of a chance if you see one in T20 cricket. Hooda didn’t have time to go deep into his crease, but he moved his weight enough on his back foot and hit a mighty six.
The next ball, which may have been Theekshana’s way of making up for the short one, was pitched too full, and Hooda was ready again. This time, he got closer to the ball and hit it hard in the same direction for another six. India’s run rate went from 6.73 to 7.37, and ESPNcricinfo’s predictor said they were now on track for 157.
“That was his [Theekshana’s] last over, and there was also a loose ball,” Hooda said after the game. “In T20, you always have to be ready to hit the ball if it’s in your area.” “So Axar and I decided it was a good time to go after the bowlers. And that’s exactly what we did.”
That over clearly changed the flow of the game, and Hooda made it even more in India’s favor by going after the bowlers who had held his teammates back.
Hasaranga only gave up four singles in the first five balls of his last over, but he made a mistake with the last ball. And Hooda was there to wait. The short ball, at 95.4kmph, was much faster than Theekshana’s, but Hooda still had time to rock back, open his body towards leg, and pivot for such a powerful pull that he ended up facing deep midwicket at the end of his follow through.
Hooda’s best shot in the first T20I was the pull, which got him 13 runs off of just three balls. Hooda scored 26 off 13 balls with three sixes, while the other India batters scored 31 off 41 balls (one four). India’s score of 162 was helped by his unbeaten 41 runs off 23 balls and his 68 runs with Axar Patel off 35 balls.
Hooda knows what his job at No. 6 entails and how to do it.
“After losing wickets early on, it was clear that we needed to work together,” Hooda said. “When you bat last, at No. 6, you have to be ready for these kinds of situations.” A collapse can happen at any time, but it didn’t happen today because we were in a good position early on. But yes, that is what a No. 6 or 7 does.
“That’s what the game requires: you have to play based on the wicket and get a good score. When I was batting sixth, I was thinking that I had to finish the game.”
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
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.
Sachin Tendulkar with god of cricket Virat Kohli pic.twitter.com/zmztejNBBB— Kevin (@imkevin149) November 2, 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.
Shaheen Shah Afridi: Fastest to 100 ODI Wickets
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.
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.
ICC World Cup: Shoaib Akhtar says, ‘Mai India ki tareef kyu na karu’
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.
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.
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.
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.