Ben Stokes, England’s captain, praised his team’s efforts to secure series parity against India in such emphatic way following a dramatic Test victory in Edgbaston – England’s greatest ever run chase – and said this new approach to long form cricket from his squad was here to stay. This was 19 runs more than what England pursued in the infamous Leeds Test against Australia in 2019; moreover, they accomplished it with a level of casualness that belied the magnitude of their accomplishment.
Stokes stated to Sky Sports that “We are attempting to redefine how Test cricket is being played, in particular in England.” “We’ll aim to take over all the varied plans we put together over the last four to five weeks, for every different situation.”
England entered this postponed fifth Test trailing India 2-1 and in need of a victory to prevent India from winning the away series to go along with their recent victories over Australia. Although Stokes and company were confident, they also brought much of the momentum they had gained from their dominant home series win over New Zealand in June into this single Test. With a reorganisation of their leadership team, the New Zealand series brought about a change in how they approached the format. At the end of April, Brendon McCullum, a dashing former captain of New Zealand, replaced Joe Root as head coach, taking over from Ben Stokes. Together, they devised three successive fourth innings chases against New Zealand, leading the fourth—and finest of all—of them in Edgbaston to soundly defeat India.
The past five weeks have been the most enjoyable of Stokes’ career thus far. “Not everyone can comprehend what has taken place here, in my opinion. Everything becomes much simpler when you are clear about what you want to accomplish and think beyond the immediate results. It relieves you of the stress that competing in an international sport might bring. Everything is much simpler when you are clear on what you want to accomplish when you walk out into the world.”
Following an exciting third day of play in which the game’s control alternated between the two teams, England set a solid platform for victory on Day 4. India made a quick start and added 104 runs to their overnight lead of 257 runs in the opening session, however they lost four wickets. After the break, Stokes led the effort to rapidly finish off the remaining batsmen, preventing India from reaching the 400-run threshold.
The England openers then provided a strong supporting performance for the bowlers. With clear sky above and a flat field below, these were the ideal batting conditions of this game, and Alex Lees and Zak Crawley built a solid foundation early on to demonstrate that England was serious about playing, even if they still had a steep hill to climb. India struggled to maintain control and ultimately allowed the openers to put together a 100-run stand in just the 20th over. The third and fourth seamers, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur, were easily scored against while Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, two of India’s best fast bowlers, were unable to trouble the openers.
After picking up three wickets during a brief recovery time on either side of the tea break, India was stung by the record fourth wicket partnership between Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, which reenergized England in the final session and quickly eliminated the visitors. Stokes was especially pleased with his team’s performance on Day 4, when they fell only 119 runs short of what had previously been a lofty goal.
“Look at how opponents will be seeing us right now. The third inning has turned into a fourth inning because they have to focus on how we’re going to play, and they’re worried about that, I said yesterday after we ended the day’s play. Therefore, it is an incredible situation for a team to be in to be feared before they have even completed their innings. Teams struggle to play well in the third inning, especially when they are ahead “Observed Stokes.
“Jonny and Rooty will receive praise, and deservedly so—they delivered two fantastic knocks. However, in a run chase, your two openers set the tone, and what they accomplished there was just incredible. It was amazing to see how they pulled that alliance together, and it gave us some newfound energy. It was amazing to watch them play against Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami “Added he.
Even Root, who recorded his 28th Test century on Tuesday, agreed with his captain to acknowledge the importance of the opening stand for setting the tone. Root stated, “Huge credit to the two lads at the top.” “They played tremendous batting because it made the task we had to do after that much simpler. They established the stage, put India under immediate pressure, and hammered the new ball all over the place. It was a magnificent alliance against a top-notch attack.
The former captain, who concluded the series with four centuries to his credit, said that England’s victories over New Zealand made the idea of large chases “more realistic.”
“I believe that after you’ve done it once, you’ll know you can do it and will have given yourself some confidence. It does make things a tiny bit simpler. It gives it a little more credibility.
“I anticipate that some teams will be a little intimidated by what we’re capable of doing after watching the way we’ve been playing. You shouldn’t pay too much attention to what other teams are doing or how they are going about things. However, that can just give you greater self-assurance, and you may believe that others may be very wary of your abilities “explained Root.
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.