New Zealand appear to have outsmarted Hardik Pandya at his own game. The allrounder was out early again on Sunday (November 5) and India went on to lose the second Twenty20 International by 40 runs.

Elsewhere, Karun Nair was targeting further improvement in the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season while PV Shashikanth, the head coach of Karnataka, was all praise for Mayank Agarwal and R Samarth.

Down Under, Joe Root was taking comfort in anonymity, Michael Clarke was backing Matthew Wade to do well, and Katherine Brunt was relishing a return to Test cricket.

Visitors have kept Hardik Pandya in check entire tour by fighting fire with fire (Firstpost)
The tattoo on Hardik Pandya’s left forearm says “Believe”. That seems to be his mantra every time he walks out to bat on a cricket field. More than textbook-technique, sublime drives or elegant flicks, the all-rounder prefers to go down on one leg and send that ball into orbit via cow corner.

In the beginning, Pandya was considered a mere slogger, someone who could plunder some big sixes, play a cameo and chip in with the ball. He was, in every sense of the word, a bits-and-pieces cricketer, or so we all thought. His six-hitting ability, swagger at the crease and enticing tattoos earned more attention than his batting average or technique. In a year, Pandya became the poster boy of Indian cricket. His metal chains, swanky sunglasses and sixes gave him a glamorous aura and Virat Kohli calling him a superstar came as no surprise to the cricketing world. He was indeed one.

Jasprit Bumrah continues rich vein of form with tight spell vs New Zealand (Hindustan Times)
Jasprit Bumrah has built a reputation of bowling perfect spells under pressure and he enhanced his reputation further on Saturday as he helped India keep New Zealand below 200 in the 2nd T20I. While other bowlers went for runs, Bumrah kept calm, didn’t allow New Zealand much room, varied his pace, line and length to concede just 23 runs in his four overs.

At 29, Virat Kohli is fast approaching the Sachin, Gavaskar League (The Quint)
The phenomena called Virat Kohli continues to surge in International Cricket. The more he plays, the more he performs and the more he pushes one to write about him. He keeps performing and raising the bar. The Indian skipper keeps scoring centuries, conquering new records and setting more benchmarks, especially in One-Day cricket, where his record is exceptional. What Virat has achieved in this format at the age of 29 is more than a lifetime of work for many legends in the sport.

I want to be better when I come back: Karun (The Hindu)
Determination was writ large on Karun Nair’s innings for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy match against Maharashtra here on Friday. He did get to his hundred, his second in as many matches. He knows he needs more of them to force his way back into the Indian side. He may be one of the only two Indians to make a triple hundred in Tests, and he may have achieved the monumental feat less than a year ago, but he is very well aware of the fact that only big scores would give him his place back.

Shashi all praise for Mayank, Samarth (The Times of India)
Karnataka’s brilliant start to the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season, with three wins from as many games, has warmed the cockles of one man’s heart.
Head coach PV Shashikanth, along with his assistant Anil Kumar, has been associated with some of the players in the team -Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Karun Nair and Ravikumar Samarth -since their age group cricketing days. It was only natural when he was elated.

A lot has changed (Mirror)
With just three wickets to pick, and Haryana needing 266 runs to match Gujarat, the result was a foregone conclusion. Young Siddharth Desai and veteran Piyush Chawla shared the spoils as Gujarat bowled out their rivals for 121 in the second innings to register their third win in a trot. Critics will argue, Gujarat is making most of their home season by dishing out turners. But the battle-hardened Parthiv Patel knew only turners would not help.

Stumping the stereotype (The Hindu)
It is autumn, but by noon the sun is getting harsher and the turf dryer at Srinagar’s Bakshi Stadium. The stands are empty and the seats rickety. There is no scoreboard. Every now and then the score is announced on the mic. But none of this stops a bunch of girls in black-and-red jerseys from loudly cheering their teammates and booing the opponents.

Assessments based only on statistics can go haywire (Deccan Chronicle)
Here’s a trick question. Which batsman has the second highest Test batting average in the history of the game yet? If you’ve named Adam Voges without consulting ‘Dr Google’ or one of the cricket sites, give yourself a pat on the back for being a true cricket buff. For those who don’t know much about Voges, he was a late-blooming Aussie batsman who had one terrific season, and retired last year having played 20 Tests and made 1485 runs at a whopping average of 61.87.

How Nathan Lyon rose above the rest to become a great survivor (Sydney Morning Herald)
For so much of his earlier career, the pub discussions about Nathan Lyon tended to revolve around who should really be the first-choice Test spinner, not why the right-arm tweaker should be given the chance to blossom in a baggy green. If the post-Gilchrist era was difficult for Australian wicketkeepers, the post-Warne era was equally treacherous for the spin stocks. By the time Lyon made his debut in Adelaide in 2011, four years after Warne’s final delivery in Test cricket, there was the ominous feeling he too was warming the seat.

Give Matthew Wade an Ashes chance as wicketkeeper: Michael Clarke (Sydney Morning Herald)
Matthew Wade must remain as Australia’s first-choice wicketkeeper for the start of the Ashes series, according to former captain Michael Clarke. Pressure is intensifying on Australian selectors to make a change in the position, given Wade has averaged just 20 with the bat since his Test recall last summer.

Joe Root takes comfort in anonymity while England get down to business (The Guardian)
The relief on Joe Root’s face was palpable. He had made it through a press engagement in the buildup to England’s opening game where the topic of conversation had been cricket, actual cricket, and there had been no BS. Ben Stokes, from the moment England landed last Sunday, had dominated the agenda and it is easy to understand how the captain had tired of discussing his friend, especially given the outcome of all this is out of his hands and remit. He would have spoken about little else in private too: England had been drawing up new codes of conduct for their extracurricular activities and, of course, trying to find the formula to replace the focal point on the field as well.

Sophie Ecclestone a quick learner as she moves from schoolgirl to superstar (The Telegraph)
For Sophie Ecclestone, the game of life trumped the game of cricket when it came to World Cup selection this year. But having completed her A-levels rather than lifting the trophy with England, the left-arm spinner is more than eager to make up for time lost in the middle.

England bowler Katherine Brunt relishing Test leg of Women’s Ashes (Daily Mail)
England’s premier bowler, Katherine Brunt, is relishing a return to her favoured format as the Women’s Ashes moves to the Test arena for the first-ever pink-ball clash between the sides. Talking to the Mail on Sunday, the feisty 33-year-old plans to stick it to the Australians just as she has throughout the course of her international career – now into its 14th year.