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Kuldeep again comes out of the shadows with a game-winning performance.



Kuldeep Yadav

Let’s take a look at the number of One-Day International matches that Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah have played in. Kuldeep has got 122 wickets in 74 games. He has a 32.30 percent success rate while his overall average is 28. Bumrah has a strike rate of 31.40 and an average of 24.30 after he has taken 121 wickets over the course of 72 games. Both Kuldeep and Bumrah reached their respective 50-wicket and 100-wicket milestones in their respective 28th and 57th one-day internationals (ODIs), whereas Bumrah did so in his 24th and 58th ODIs. Kuldeep recently received his fourth Player of the Match award on Thursday for collecting three wickets in the second One-Day International that was played against Sri Lanka. Bumrah already has four Player of the Match accolades to his name.

The analogies end there, however, due to the fact that Bumrah possesses a unique mix of skills that include a quick tempo, an ungainly action, and a high level of accuracy. Even though Kuldeep spins the ball with his left wrist instead of his right arm, he will still be judged against Yuzvendra Chahal, who spins the ball with his legs. Kuldeep and Chahal are no longer the only two bowlers in the XI because it is almost inevitable that India will play at least one fingerspin all-rounder at the ODI World Cup (Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, or Washington Sundar). The correct response is either Kuldeep or Chahal.

In order to win one-day international matches, Virat Kohli came to the conclusion six years ago that it was essential to have wicket-taking options available throughout the middle overs. Because Kuldeep and Chahal were available when India needed them the most, India was able to achieve a great deal of success. However, when their adversaries were exposed to the wrist-spinning duo more frequently, their opponents became more accustomed to them. Both Kuldeep and Chahal experienced a decline in their ability to take wickets over the course of the match, but it appeared that Kuldeep had more off days than Chahal. This had an impact on Kuldeep’s performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL), such as in the year 2020, when he struggled to maintain his position in the Kolkata Knight Riders XI and only managed to take one wicket throughout the five games he participated in.

That event served as a watershed moment in both Kuldeep’s personal life and professional career. From the outside, it appeared as though he was going in a million different directions at once. He was eliminated from consideration for a position in India at that point. However, witnesses claim that Kuldeep was not among those things that were discarded. The individuals in charge of India’s team sought to improve not only his physical but also his mental health, as well as his abilities. Kuldeep started again with a new mentality that allows him to drift and dip more frequently when he had nothing else to lose once he had conquered his fear complex and reached the point where he had nothing more to lose.

In the second One-Day International match against Sri Lanka, which took place on Thursday at Eden Gardens, a significant portion of it was on display when Kuldeep came to bowl in the 17th over. Because Nawanidu Fernando and Kusal Mendis were so close to scoring a hundred runs together, India had a pressing need to get rid of them before they reached that milestone. Kuldeep bowled a googly that hit Mendis on the pads after he had turned his back on him. This ended their partnership. Kuldeep took his second victim in the form of Dasun Shanaka, whose batting has been a source of significant difficulty for India. While he was sweeping, the ball went around his legs and hit him. Kuldeep once more employed the googly in the course of the same over in order to eliminate Charith Asalanka. Kuldeep made a return catch after Asalanka struck a ball that wasn’t quite full enough for him to hit it successfully.

Because Kuldeep grabbed three wickets and Axar Patel got rid of Dhananjaya de Silva, Sri Lanka’s score went from 102 for 1 to 126 for 6 during their batting innings. They were never able to get back on track, and after Kuldeep took three wickets, it meant that India only needed 216 runs to win.

After the match, Kuldeep said in an interview with, “My primary objective was to bowl a nice length.” “I have spent a lot of time playing at Eden, and the pitch is not very good for spinners. When I bowled at a nice length, I didn’t need to leave any room for the other bowler. And after that, you can turn it away or bowl the googly by using my variants. I have also been bowling with an aggressive rhythm, and because of the fluctuations in speed, the batters have been confused about whether or not they should play off the front foot or the back foot.

“My way of thinking has evolved quite a bit over the years. I used to believe that in order to be successful, I needed to play well and take wickets. Now is the time for me to focus on my strengths rather than my weaknesses when bowling. You are aware that if you are a wristspinner and you bowl in advantageous positions, wickets will come to you.

Kuldeep wasn’t even India’s top pick for the match they were playing. The only reason Chahal played him was because his shoulder injury from the first one-day international hadn’t healed in time for him to play again. When Chahal has regained his full health, India will have to decide if they want to play him again or choose to give more playing time to Kuldeep. Even though they are still competing against one another for the top rank, India’s two best wrist-spinners get along just as well as they did in the past.

After the game, Kuldeep was overheard saying, “I also want to thank Chahal.” “After a series of tests, I joined the team, although Chahal had already played in both the Twenty20s and the most recent One-Day International. I am grateful for the instruction you provided regarding bowling. Every little bit makes a difference. Although we don’t spend as much time on the field together as we used to, your advice has been quite useful to me.”

There is no assurance that Kuldeep will take the field in the last one-day international match against Sri Lanka. In a one-day international match against South Africa in October of the previous year, he grabbed four wickets for eighteen runs. After that, he didn’t return to the starting lineup for the XI until the tour of Bangladesh in the month of December. In spite of the fact that he got eight wickets and was named Player of the Match in the first Test that was played in Chattogram, he was not selected to play in the second Test that was played in Mirpur. Therefore, if he does play in Thiruvananthapuram, make sure to appreciate Kuldeep 2.0 because a left-arm wristspinner who is bowling at full speed is one of the most beautiful sights in all of cricket.

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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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