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McCullum on the influence of England’s new approach :Alarm bells have probably gone off



Ben stokes and Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum, England’s new head coach, has warned other teams around the world about the style of cricket his new-age team will play ahead of the fifth Test against India, which they trail 2-1. England is now riding a high after defeating New Zealand 3-0, and McCullum is hoping that the “alarm bells” their performance sounded will put them in excellent standing for a follow-up.

After England’s victory in Headingley, McCullum said, “The World Test Champions were a challenging opponent and the alarm bells have probably gone off slightly around world cricket as to how this side is going to play.” We must make sure we are well-researched, well-planned, well-prepared, and aim to put on a similar kind of performance when facing a different opposition.

In three games against New Zealand, England scored over 4.5 runs per over in run chases totaling 277, 299, and 296 runs. McCullum wants England to push themselves in terms of the aggressive cricket they are currently playing, even if it means going through some “difficult periods.” He claims that England’s white-ball team used this strategy as well, and it was successful.

McCullum added, “I hope we go too far because then we’ll know exactly where that line is. You are not really certain until you do that. It was evident with the England white-ball activities. They may have pushed themselves too far at times, but they afterwards realised it. We must continue to investigate what that line is because I believe it will be the same with us.

“I am certain that there will be difficult times. We will need to have a strong conviction in the course we are on. When the terrible times do arrive, if we do that and save the good times, we will be stronger. You don’t want to abandon all of your hard work in an effort to salvage a poor performance.”

Ben Stokes received nothing but praise from McCullum, who claimed that the captain had his back when it came to being aggressive and communicating with the squad.

I did believe Ben would be a good captain, McCullum remarked. “He receiving the captaincy, in my opinion, comes at the ideal time. To be honest, despite the fact that it is still early, he has already surpassed my expectations. He has me covered despite the fact that I’m aggressive, which is significant.

“In his debut series, Stokes has been outstanding; he has also been quite eloquent and consistent in his message. He makes plays all the time when we’re fielding. It implies that regardless of what the scoreboard indicates, at least we are in command. When he bats, he pushes the boundaries, signalling to our dressing room and other dressing rooms around the world that this is the kind of play we will use.

“They’ve been on a voyage with the skipper, and I’ve attempted to fill in the blanks where necessary, and they’ve experienced the shift immediately. That isn’t always the case. But that’s the reason those guys love this look so much.

“He has me covered despite the fact that I’m aggressive, which is significant. I’ll use the fourth evening as an example. We needed 296 runs, and with the additional half-hour and the remaining 40 overs, we had 47 overs. His gang was told to “knock this off tonight.” “Oooff! okay,” I exclaimed. It’s true that we didn’t perform well that evening, but his message was intended to try to liberate the boys. We’re going for the win; don’t set any limitations on yourself; just go and play the game.”

How will young players in the county circuit of cricket adapt to England’s novel way of playing, particularly with the bat? The head coach is hoping that by being aggressive, more people will notice the type of players England will be recruiting in the future.

We can’t force any of that on them because they have goals of their own, but I believe if we can establish this and succeed in doing so, you’ll see the kind of player (we want) McCullum was referring to. “If I were a young player in county cricket and I observed what our No. 5 for England was doing, the role he is encouraged to play, and how he is supported in doing so, I would likely consider trying to play that way myself to ensure that I would be noticed as well, in case something were to happen to that person.

“You can only hope that it spreads; you cannot be arrogant enough to believe that that will always be the case. I believe that this positivity may have trickled down as evidenced by county cricket scores over the last several days.”


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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