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Shreyas Gopal talks about his life after the cathartic century of the quarterfinals.



Shreyas Gopal

Shreyas Gopal has spent most of his career as an all-rounder in the Karnataka team. If the team wants to bowl better or bat longer, it needs to get rid of him. But on Wednesday, that feeling was not there as Shreyas batted like a dream and scored a superb century, his first in the Ranji Trophy since the 2017-18 season.

It was his fifth first-class century overall, and it helped Karnataka to a huge 358-run lead over Uttarakhand at the end of the second day of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals in Bengaluru. Now it looks like they will win and move on to the next round.

“It went well. After the match was over for the day, Shreyas Gopal said with a broad smile, “I’d be lying if I said the nerves weren’t there. I had lost 95 strokes against Rajasthan, and for some strange reason I was a little worried in the 40s because I lost 48 strokes against Kerala. There were the nerves. When I went back to practice, there were some cricketers there in my age group. When I met them, they told me, “Bhaiyya, when you’re approaching 90, try to push a bit, aur maar do” (laughs).”

Shreyas Gopal couldn’t have gotten the shot at a better time, as he hasn’t had much to do with the ball yet this season. As a player, that can get to you, maybe even more so when you’ve played 74 first-class games. Credit to Shreyas for keeping his head up and doing what was asked of him.

At 29 years of age, Shreyas Gopal has faced all the problems a professional cricketer can face. He has struggled with injuries, has been out of form and has struggled with a lack of confidence. He has won the Ranji Trophy twice in a row and scored a hat-trick in the IPL, knocking out AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli among others. He has also hit rock bottom when he failed to make the Karnataka XI first team and was passed over in the IPL auction this year.

All in all, this season wasn’t decisive, but Shreyas had to deliver the strong performance that the team management expects from the older players, especially since they have talked about nurturing young players and not letting their reputation affect them. The decision to drop Karun Nair from the squad this season is a good example of that.

By the time Shreyas came out to bat on Wednesday, Karnataka was already leading by 191 runs (307-4). And from the start, he went after the bowlers. What was particularly impressive was how he used his feet against spin. He struck powerfully through cover and stepped out of his stance to bat against spin over midwicket. Manish Pandey, who was always loud and hyper, seemed a bit calmer because he could talk so well.

Shreyas Gopal

Shreyas says he spent “hours” with Brian Lara last year at Sunrisers Hyderabad learning how to score big.

After he brought the hundred, it felt as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He walked with his arms raised and a smile so wide that his jaw ached. He was happy. Later, when asked about having to constantly prove himself as an all-arounder, Shreyas made no effort to hide. He was honest about how he handled rejection and moved on when things were bad.

“Sometimes you feel a little bad when things don’t go your way or you don’t get picked,” he said. “You feel bad, and it’s normal and common to feel bad, disappointed or maybe even explode. Everyone deals with it in their own way. It was hard, but I always tried to hide my feelings as much as possible. I didn’t try to make them obvious. I know two or three people who might be able to see that side of things. Otherwise, I try to hide it as best I can. That’s how I deal with it.

“But when you’re on the court, when you’re with your teammates, when you’re competing for a trophy and for wins, it fades a little bit over time. It keeps nipping at you, but when you’re really in the moment, it goes away, at least for a while. So you really try to win as many games as you can.

“I really want to make an impact when I’m at the plate. I want to hit a couple hundreds, a couple 150s and probably want to get my first 200. I get the ball and I want to take 10 wickets in a game. And then what? You have to keep giving yourself new tasks. You can’t be sad about these things for too long. Because then you just feel worse. I think, “You’ve got to get up, pull your socks up and take it lightly Maybe you’re not good enough right now. Maybe you need to double or triple your accomplishments, work harder and harder, and one day that door will open. That’s how I’ve seen it.”

Last year, Shreyas Gopal had the opportunity to learn a few tricks from Brian Lara, his mentor at Sunrisers Hyderabad. He talks a lot about those memories, but he also likes to mention the other batsmen who helped him along the way.

He said, “There are a lot of coaches. If I forget someone’s name, I’m doing a lot wrong.” “I think I’ve talked to Brian Lara a lot in the last 6 to 8 months. When I was at SRH, his ideas were very different than what other people were telling me. I was obviously trying to tap into his 400- and 500-run brain because I was on the same team and spent hours with him. I was just trying to figure out how he did it.

“At 100, I’m halfway there, and at 400, he was still trying to get another hundred runs. So little things about how he batted and how he handled things. I want to make a couple more points here. I’ve asked a lot of other coaches what they think about it, and I’m trying to change and see if it opens up a new way of batting for me, if I can score more runs or be a better hitter.

“Then if I can get a few more wickets with my bowling, that would help both the team and me. I’ve had a lot of conversations, and there are a lot of batsmen who I really adored as a kid and whose videos I watch all the time. To know what they struggled with and how they handled it. I was in a lot of those situations when I was playing first-class cricket, but not international cricket. But things are pretty much the same. So I’m trying to take advantage of what they’ve done and what these coaches have told me.”

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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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