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Who will Lyon be traveling with in India? Agar, Sweepson, or Murphy?



Now that 22-year-old Todd Murphy is on Australia’s Test squad, they could play two off-spinners on the same team in India. Even though he had a weak comeback last week in Sydney, Ashton Agar is still the best choice to play with Nathan Lyon.

Australia’s four-Test tour of India starts on February 9 in Nagpur, and four spinners will be on the team. Off-spinners include Lyon, Murphy, Mitchell Swepson, and Agar. Agar is an orthodox left-arm bowler.

In their last Test match, Australia used two bowlers who spin the ball. Agar played with Lyon for the first time since 2017, and Swepson played with Lyon in four of the five Tests they played in Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 2018.

Australia has had some success in the last year with two spinners on the same team. In Galle, they have won two games, tied two games, and lost one. Australia did win one Test on their last trip to India in 2017 because they used two spinners. Steve O’Keefe’s left-arm orthodox bowling got 12 wickets for 70 runs in Pune.

Even though Agar had only played 64 first-class games in 10 years, he was brought back to Sydney because Australia’s selectors wanted a left-handed orthodox bowler in India to work with Lyon and match the success of O’Keefe, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel in India.

Australia’s chairman of selectors, George Bailey, thinks that Agar would do better if he had a run in Sydney before the tour of India.

“We’d love for India to have a left-handed orthodox,” Bailey said. “It’s great that we’ll be able to buy Ash a game. He hasn’t played much red-ball cricket, but I think the run will help him become a better horse racer. It was great to have him back in the group, and he came back with a plan to improve his red-ball skills until we got to India.”

Agar has only played seven first-class games since the beginning of 2020. In these seven games, he has only taken 17 wickets at a rate of 50.64 and scored runs at a rate of 109.5. The rate of his business is 2.78. He had 0 for 58 in 22 overs in Sydney, and captain Pat Cummins didn’t bowl him as much as Lyon, who had 55 overs for the match. Cummins liked what Agar did, though.

Todd Murphy
Todd Murphy has had a great start to his first-class career, but is Australia willing to play two off-spinners?

Australia might decide to play two off-spinners if Murphy does well.

India likes traditional left-handed spinners, but Bailey said that Murphy’s rise has made the selectors think about putting two offspinners on the same team. Murphy has only played seven first-class games for Victoria, Australia A, and the Prime Minister’s XI. All of these games took place in the last two years. He has a strike rate of 57.6 runs per over and an economy rate of 2.62. He has taken 29 wickets at a rate of 25.20.

“Yes, he has a chance to play,” Bailey said. ” Definitely, it’s not a development tour. So, it’s clear that his performances and what we think he can do have given him his spot.

“I don’t know if he can play with Lyon or not, but they are both off-spinners. So I don’t think you’re looking at the same type of bowler in both cases. When we get there, we’ll look at the situation and decide what we think we need.”

Bailey, Tony Dodemaide, and coach Andrew McDonald have always said that the best way to make the attack more balanced is for Lyon to play with a spinner who is a good match for him. Before Agar was picked in Sydney, McDonald said on the record that it was more important to get a spinner who could spin the ball away from right-handed batters than to get the next-best spinner.

The fact that Travis Head is now a part of Australia’s XI as an off-spinner makes this want even stronger. The idea of picking two specialist offspinners along with Head’s part-time offspin and Marnus Labuschagne and Steven Smith’s part-time legspin could make Australia’s attack less balanced in conditions where spin is important. This is especially true since, without Rishabh Pant, most of India’s top six batsmen will be right-handed.

Mitchell Swepson
Mitchell Swepson took 10 wickets at 45.80 on tours of Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Swepson should win because

Australia has picked one leg-spinner, Swepson, but the plan to pair him with Lyon has been put on hold. In Pakistan and Sri Lanka, he bowled well, but he didn’t always get lucky. He only had 10 wickets, which were worth 45.80 runs each and 89.2 runs per strike. He also didn’t keep the run rate as low as Australia would have liked while they attacked with reverse swing from their quicks at the other end.

Adam Zampa, an Australian spinner who uses white balls, played first-class cricket for the first time in three years in December. But Bailey said that when playing with a red ball, Swepson is still Australia’s best leg spinner.

Bailey said, “We brought Swep on the tour because we think he’s our best option if we need a legspinner.” “Zamps has shown, in my opinion, that he wants to be on the Test team. And he probably hasn’t shown us enough of his red-ball cricket yet. Swep has done good work for us when he’s had the chance, so we’ll keep putting money into him.”

But Australia’s pickers know that legspinners from other countries have had trouble in India. Even Shane Warne, who is thought to be Australia’s best player of all time, had trouble in India. In his three tours there, he averaged 43.11, took 81 wickets, and had an economy rate of 3.19. But Warne was a very important part of Australia’s win in India in 2004. As the only spinner in Australia’s two Test wins in Bengaluru and Nagpur, he played a more defensive role while Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, and Michael Kasprowicz did most of the damage with their fast bowling.

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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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