Jonty Rhodes hit the headlines for opening up on his latest trip to India, but he was still just a sidebar’s worth when compared to the columns dedicated to India’s tour of Sri Lanka.
On Thursday (August 10), the focus was on India’s takeaways from the ongoing Test series, with the piece on Sri Lanka’s ‘ministry of mystery’ adding a dash of spice to the collage.
That aside, cricket commentators were in a bit of spot, Mohammed Azharuddin talked about S Sreesanth and Haseeb Hameed was doing pretty well for himself.
It’s been a demanding stint for Kohli (The Hindu)
Performance-wise, by his exalting standards, Kohli had a mixed run over the previous months. Leading Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, Kohli scored 308 averaging 30.80. Prior to that, in the Tests against Australia, he mustered 46 from five innings. Later he struck form in the ODIs. The proof being his runs in the ICC Champions Trophy and an unbeaten 111 against the West Indies at Kingston, in the last game of the five-match series.
Men shaping India’s rise (Deccan Herald)
Jadeja has been equally valuable, engineering many an Indian win. After playing the perfect foil to off-spinner R Ashwin, he has managed to emerge out of his shadows. While he may not possess the bag of tricks that Ashwin does, Jadeja’s strength lay in exploiting the conditions. He is accurate and effective on pitches that don’t offer him much and dangerous on surfaces that have some bite and turn. Sidelined after the tour of Australia in 2014-15 when he didn’t get a chance to play a single Test, Jadeja’s stock has only increased since his return for the home series against South Africa in 2015.
Kuldeep Yadav thrilled to be an inspiration for upcoming Chinaman bowlers (Hindustan Times)
When in rhythm, a wrist spinner can leave you enthralled. Kuldeep Yadav is its fine exponent, an example was his Chinaman bowling in the first innings at Dharamsala in March against Australia. Yadav made an impact with a four-wicket match-winning burst.
“When I started, hardly anyone used to bowl Chinaman. Now if you look at any academy, you will get 10 bowlers bowling it. That’s one thing which has changed after my debut. When people recognise your skills, there’s no better feeling. I think we will see more of such spinners in the future in not only state and Ranji level but also at the international level,” said Yadav.
Inside Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Mystery (The Indian Express)
His friends call him “slinga”. In Sri Lanka, just one man goes by that name — Lasith Malinga. Now, a more original counterfeit of Malinga, sans his permed curls and maybe a couple of inches taller, bursts in. As he approaches the creases, his upper body arches back, bends almost like an arc, then with a twisty jerk of the body flings the ball in, the right arm fully horizontal to the ground, like the big needles of a clock when it touches 12’o clock.
Comprehensive SL conquest (Deccan Chronicle)
This second Everest of an Indian total was made possible principally by the batsman with the patience of a monk who has become a clever operator in not only the use of his head but his feet too. If his century in the previous test was made by attacking Herath’s spin off the front foot and with active footwork beyond the crease, his century at the SSC in Colombo came by using the width of the crease more and waiting for the ball. With his latest innings, Cheteshwar Pujara may have graduated in a kind of all-time test.
In the last couple of seasons, Pujara has become a great run accumulator in the tradition of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, his prodigious streak qualifying him for being spoken of in that company. He may have scored more of his pile of runs at home or in conditions close to home. But we all know it takes a different kind of temperament to be an accumulator in the modern era when everyone is a striker who wants the T20 spotlight, the 15 minutes of fame as soon as possible.
Sports is best left to those with understanding of ground reality (Hindustan Times)
In keeping with the BCCI’s new love for robust processes and transparent governance, the DDCA has advertised for coaches, selectors and managers, setting out criteria to attract qualified professionals.
The process is fine but the devil, as they say, is in the detail. The eligibility requirements for DDCA’s coaches are so stringent that they would rule out Mike Hesson and Russell Domingo — Test coaches of New Zealand and South Africa — even for the under-14 job!
CoA-BCCI meeting: lukewarm response to CoA’s directive (The Hindu)
The CoA met with the BCCI office-bearers here on Wednesday to decide on some issues. Among the major decisions was to refer India’s participation in cricket at the Olympics to its General Body. There is a proposal to include cricket at the 2024 Olympics, which is pending with the IOC.
Rhodes’ jaunty road to success continues (The Hindu)
Rhodes marvelled at India’s fielding standards these days. “Back then, Yuvraj, Kaif and Harbhajan were the best fielders and you had to hide the eight others. Now, you hardly have to hide two or three fielders.”
He credited M.S. Dhoni and Virat Kohli for bringing about this ‘fielding transformation’ and fitness culture to the Indian team. “It’s not just about training hard, it’s about training smart,” he noted.
CSA wanted De Villiers to continue playing Test cricket: Jonty Rhodes (The Times of India)
Jonty Rhodes: I think he wanted to retire a while back from Test cricket, but Cricket South Africa persuaded him to stay on. Before 2016, he was talking to people about his Test future. In SA, people are critical because they don’t see the IPL mechanism. They think cricketers are trying to make as much money as possible and it’s often at the expense of national call-ups. The BCCI is the only cricket board that doesn’t allow their players to play in other competitions. But our guys go from IPL to CPL to England to Big Bash. And they play Test and ODIs whenever they can. There is so much workload and the guys work hard.
Commentators to disclose various roles before being hired: BCCI (The Times of India)
A board official told ToI on Wednesday that all commentators working for the BCCI will need to disclose their various roles before they were hired for commentary. “Not just Gavaskar, whosoever will be given the contract, the conflict of interest issue would have to be sorted out before. This disclosure form would then determine whether or not any former cricketer would be eligible or not,” the functionary said, while also adding that the board couldn’t comment much on the subject till the time the commentator revealed all his association with the game in different capacities.
Sunil Gavaskar may be asked to pick between company, commentary (DNA)
It was also learnt that Board is unanimous on this issue and would not offer any formal contracts to any of the four names if they don’t give it in writing. Gavaskar may have to think twice before signing the contract because of his long association with the company.
Gavaskar was being paid Rs 4 crore annually for his commentary services and Board officials are expecting the former captain to ask for a compensation in lieu of his exit from PMG. “No one (read Gavaskar) will not be entertained for any kind of compensation,” said an official.
Board will have to follow Kerala HC order on Sreesanth: Mohammed Azharuddin (DNA)
Former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will have to follow the Kerala High Court’s order and revoke lifetime ban on fast bowler S Sreesanth’s.
“The BCCI will have to take a positive decision (on Sreesanth) if the court has given an order. I think if the court order has come then they have to follow it,” the stylish batsman said in a media interaction in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Azharuddin was banned by the BCCI in 2000 for his alleged involvement in match-fixing. However, the lifetime ban was declared illegal by the Andhra Pradesh high Court in 2012.
Cricket thrived before one-dayers even existed (Sunshine Coast Daily)
The first one day international was four years away, Kerry Packer and coloured outfits a decade hence and the Big Bash two generations ahead, so cricket in 1967 may seem a primitive spectacle.
Yet the 27 teams contesting Maroochy Cricket Association’s fixtures that summer would not be out of place today, though outnumbered by the 174 junior and senior sides gracing the fields now.
Haseeb Hameed happy to be in runs but not counting on England return (The Guardian)
Haseeb Hameed: “No extent – I’m just focused on trying to perform well for Lancashire right now. At the same time I’m hopeful and confident that if I can do that for Lancashire then further honours will come but there’s a process for getting there. Everyone wants to play for England and that’s definitely my ambition and aim to get back there as soon as possible. But there’s a process and for me it’s about scoring runs for Lancashire now and hopefully that call will come.”