Virat Kohli will have a point to prove when he leads India out against Steven Smith’s Australia in the second Test in Bangalore, and the newspaper headlines on Saturday (March 4) clearly indicated that the time for talking is over.
Meanwhile, Steve Waugh opened up about enforcing the follow-on in the famous Kolkata Test, and the fall out that followed that fateful decision.
Elsewhere, the debate over hosting the 2017 Pakistan Super League final continued, and the Kerala High Court sent a petition to the Board of Control for Cricket in India for lifting the ban imposed on S Sreesanth.
Australians need to dream big against India (The Sydney Morning Herald)
Australia, on the other hand, need to maintain their “rage”. They still need to target Kohli, particularly if they can get the new ball at him. I feel that Starc can get Kohli with one of his in-swinging yorkers and trap him leg before wicket. Kohli also has a history of getting out to off-spinners such as Lyon and Graeme Swann, who have got him four times. But I would not say boo to him when he is batting. He loves players chirping him. He got out to a poor shot by his standards in the first innings of the first Test and he can sometimes over-analyse things, but beware, he is one heck of a player, writes Dean Jones.
Revealed: Smith’s recipe for success (Cricket Australia)
Ever wanted to know what a victorious, century-making Test captain eats on a match day? Well, Australia skipper Steve Smith is the perfect case study after conquering India’s best to post a match-winning 109 in the first Test in Pune and guide his side to a 1-0 series lead. Unlike the unpredictable conditions he faces in the heat of battle, Smith and his teammates are stuck in routine during a Test match, which is why the 27-year-old likes to vary his diet where possible.
Up, close and personal (Mumbai Mirror)
“They have got a leader (Kohli) who is an intensely competitive person,” Waugh added. “The pitch seems like it be a lot easier for the batsmen. India have got a good batting side. The momentum is lost comprehensively but India have good players who won’t play as bad as they did in the first Test.” This is where it gets personal for Kohli.
Multiply Warne-on-O’Keefe by one billion, and you have India’s pre-match opinion of Australia’s cricketers (The Sydney Morning Herald)
Moments after Nathan Lyon took the 20th Indian wicket to fall in Pune, my son commented: ‘Dad, didn’t you say Australia would lose the series six-nil?’
His knowing smirk, which I had come to think of as the permanent face of 15-year-olds, this time expressed genuine, candid, open glee. My prediction of a six-nil loss in a four-match series had been merely weird. This – Australia winning by 333 runs, no less – was funny. That Australia now lead one-nil brought the boy not only great happiness in its own right, but the added bonus of knowing that his father was not just wrong, he can never be right. Even if India win the next three matches, Dad will still be wrong. Forever.
Steve O’Keefe gets Rangana Herath comparison from Ashley Mallett (news.com.au)
O’Keefe’s demolition job on India was pretty much a carbon-copy of what Herath did to Steve Smith’s Australians in the three-Test match series whitewash in Sri Lanka last year. In the three Tests Herath collected 28 scalps at just 12.75 to completely bemuse and befuddle the Australians. There is a similarity in approach by Herath and O’Keefe. Neither is a big turner of the ball, but their variations are almost sleight of hand. At the top of his mark Herath flips the ball from hand to hand; O’Keefe is all business, but like Herath he moves in to the right hander on an angled approach around the wicket, writes Mallett.
Time selectors recognise the spinning talent Australia has (news.com.au)
Australian cricket have tried a host of spinning options since the retirement of Warne, but Robertson says Australia are lucky to have such quality options like Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe. Warne hit the headlines following the first Test against India when he claimed O’Keefe was a “safe” option and he hoped selectors would go with Ashton Agar or Mitchell Swepson instead, labelling the pair as more dangerous.
Waugh opens up on Kolkata follow-on call (Cricket Australia)
Australian cricket legend Steve Waugh says he’s never once regretted his infamous decision to enforce the follow on in the 2001 Kolkata Test against India. And the former Test skipper says while his side lost that memorable series 16 years ago, it set a template for future Australian teams to follow when embarking on tours of India. Test cricket’s most successful captain, Waugh is also one of just three men in the game’s history to have lost a match after enforcing the follow on.
BCCI treasurer red-flags plan to distribute ICC Rs 3 cr ‘salary’ among staff (The Indian Express)
On February 28, 2017, an email was sent by BCCI Chief Executive Officer Rahul Johri asking for clearance to pay out $500,000 (Rs 3.3 crore) to 32 employees named in a list. The mail was marked to Chief Financial Officer Santosh Rangnekar, SC appointed-Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Vikram Limaye and BCCI lawyer Adarsh Saxena.
KSCA set to boycott BCCI awards, Pataudi Lecture (ESPNCricinfo)
The Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), which will host the second Test between India and Australia starting Saturday, has told the BCCI that it will boycott the MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture and the annual BCCI awards to be held on March 8 in Bengaluru. ESPNcricinfo understands there is also a danger of other state associations following suit in protest.
Gurkeerat Mann wants to be superman (The Indian Express)
Gurkeerat Mann considers Australia as the final frontier. For him, this is the glorious game’s cruel and unforgiving outback. A good performance Down Under is all that a player requires to cement his place in the senior Indian team. This is the place where reputations are made and lost. And ahead of his much awaited international debut—the ODI series last year —Mann had exuded confidence.
Kerala High Court sends notice to BCCI on lifting S Sreesanth’s lifetime ban (The Indian Express)
The 34-year old pacer was involved in a spot-fixing and betting case. In his petition, he argued that the BCCI panel which enquired into the matter had made its reports against him based on the information provided by the Delhi Police.
Marchant de Lange to join Glamorgan in latest example of South African exodus (The Guardian)
The raft of international players joining English counties from South Africa is set to continue with Glamorgan close to signing the 26-year-old fast bowler Marchant de Lange on a long-term deal, despite him not qualifying under the controversial Kolpak ruling.
Pride or despair: How does Lahore feel about hosting the PSL final? (Dawn)
If soaring ticket sales and TV clips of passionate young cricket fans in queues are anything to go by, excitement for the final of what has been a nail-biting Pakistan Super League (PSL) tournament is at an all-time high. But as the air grows thick with anticipation and many feel a sense of pride about ‘bringing cricket back to Pakistan’, there are mixed feelings in Lahore about the final.