India Vs SA Test series: Team India got a reality check of its performance in 5-day matches, many loopholes to work on

In the 3 Test match series with South Africa, India already loses first two test matches. Isn’t it shocking to see a world-class team like India losing these matches with such an ease? It is the same team that looks strongest the most on papers. India, in last some years, performing extraordinarily in every home series and was winning peacefully. But playing in South Africa is definitely not a bed of full roses for the team India. They not only have to learn from these easy defeats in these test matches but also work on many other things. We will talk about the most important places where team India really needs to work on.

World’s strongest batting line, but not used appropriately

There’s no question on the world-class batting line of team India. Actually, it’s the strongest part of our team. But it sounds unimaginable when we witness team India losing because of poor performances of Indian batsmen. Players like Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ravi Pujara and many more, again and again, failed to perform in the test matches against South Africa. The inconsistency in the performances of Indian players needs to be focused and analyzed on.

Indian Captain Virat Kohli’s inexperienced decisions

There is no doubt in the ability of Virat Kohli as a batsman. He’s the world’s best batsman and we believe in it. But he still needs to work on his captaincy skills. An ace Test match player like Ajinkya Rahane was being ignored by Kohli in the first two test matches and this decision of the Indian captain needs to be evaluated. Rahane is unarguably one of the finest test match player and his records convey the same. Even dropping India’s best current lot bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the second Test match was unexpected and shocking for all. The Indian captain has to look again at his decisions.

And the hunt for good Wicketkeeper/Batsman still goes on

The biggest setback team India is suffering from is a good wicketkeeper/batsman. There was a time when Indian team had Dhoni, who was not just a good wicketkeeper but also a great batsman and captain. Team India has to compromise on both now – a great wicketkeeper and a great captain. Parthiv Patel’s performance as a wicketkeeper in second test match showed how blessed team India was when MS Dhoni was the wicketkeeper. There’s no one who seems to even fit 20% of the place in the team as a wicketkeeper like MS Dhoni. The search for a good wicketkeeper still continues.

Indian Captain Virat Kohli fined 25% of his match fee for showing disagreement in Centurion Vs South Africa

On Tuesday, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli was fined 25 percent of his match fee and got one demerit point for expressing disagreement on Day 3 of the second Test against South Africa in Centurion. The Indian skipper breached Article 2.1.1 of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which describes to “conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game”.

The ICC said in a statement, “The incident took place in the 25th over of South Africa’s second innings when Kohli continued to complain to umpire Micheal Gough about the ball being affected by a damp outfield following a rain delay, before throwing the ball into the ground in an aggressive manner.” “After the day’s play, Kohli pleaded guilty to the offense and accepted the sanction proposed by Chris Broad of the Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing,” the statement added. The charge was pointed by on-field umpires Michael Gough and Paul Reiffel, third umpire Richard Kettleborough and fourth umpire Allahudien Palekar.

The level 1 violations carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand, a maximum penalty of 50 percent of a player’s match fee, and one or two demerit points. The Indian captain Kohli has been very honest about his feelings, aggressively celebrating every fall of the wicket and even his own gutsy century. The South Africa pacer Morne Morkel, however, made it less important by saying that they are not getting too worked up seeing Kohli’s reactions that nearly border on being inflammatory at times. “Virat is very competitive. They are over here to compete and they’ve got a team that could potentially beat South Africa for the first time here. That’s his nature. It gets him strong and keeps him going. We’re well aware of that don’t take any notice of it,” Morkel said following the end of day’s play on Monday.

India can’t just chop-and-change in every game, suggests Sourav Ganguly

The former Indian captain and skipper Sourav Ganguly advised India captain Virat Kohli to keep on his faith in the current batting line-up and refrain toying with team combination. After India’s defeat in the first Test in Cape Town, the team management’s decision to stick with Rohit Sharma while not selecting Ajinkya Rahane has come under huge criticism as Rahane has an extraordinary overseas record. Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, just made 21 runs across the two innings in Cape Town Test as India lost to a 72-run defeat on the fourth day of the test.

The openers came under questions due to poor performances, especially Shikhar Dhawan who was out in both innings in the same manner, and there are inside stories going that he might get replaced by KL Rahul in the second Test. Ganguly suggested in his column for TOI that Indian team should not make any changes for the second Test which begins from Saturday in Centurion. “Virat Kohli should not worry about such things [team combination]. Although KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane have a good history of scoring runs away from the sub-continent and have better records as batsmen, India can’t just chop-and-change in every game. They have shown faith in the current batting and that should continue to the next Test as well. They still have two more Tests to play and I feel all the matches will produce results,” Ganguly said.

The former captain also appreciated the five-bowler strategy, adding that the reason India came close to securing a win in Newlands was that of their ability to take 20 wickets which will carry on to do the same in the upcoming matches. The former captain observed that “There has been a lot of talk about the combination. India did the right thing by going in with five bowlers. As much as scoring runs is important in a bid to win Test matches, getting wickets is also key. The reason why we were thinking of an Indian win at some point is because the bowlers got 20 wickets and that will continue to be important criteria over the next two Tests”.

Ganguly also had some great words for Hardik Pandya as he was impressed with the 24-year-old’s performance. He also added that India’s batting performance as a unit needs to be improved. “Hardik Pandya came good with the bat and India should persist with him. The problem lies with the overall batting performance, and this has to be fixed soon. There will be lot of talk about players who were not in the playing eleven. That’s always the case when you lose,” Ganguly said. The former Indian skipper also praised the tough contest in the first Test produced saying it was an equal battle between the bat and ball.

“The first match between South Africa and India was a great exhibition of Test cricket where the ball dominated the bat. The great part about the surface was that even on the fourth day the bowlers were in the game. I have played on the Newland pitch and at some stage of the game the conditions always got better for batting. This, however, was not the case in the first Test,” he added.

IPL player retention 2018: MS Dhoni returns to CSK, MI retain Rohit Sharma

In IPL player retention 2018, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is back to his home team ‘Chennai Super Kings’ while Royal Challengers Bangalore retained Indian skipper Virat Kohli for its team for this year. The Ambani’s Mumbai Indians had retained the league’s most successful captain Rohit Sharma into their side as most of the retentions were expected.

Rajasthan Royals picked Australian Captain Steve Smith as its only player whereas Sunrisers Hyderabad retained David Warner along with Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The SRH team mentor VVS Laxman said following the completion of retention process that “It was a great opportunity to retain some players. We want to pick impact players who can take team forward. Warner and Bhuvaneshwar are impact players and impact is the right word for SRH”. In a shocking not to be retained names, Kolkata Knight Riders’ skipper Gautam Gambhir joined the list, who was captaining for the team since long and also KKR won the IPL title in his lead.

The Kings XI Punjab had retained only left-arm spinner Axar Patel in their squad whereas, South African Chris Morris, youngsters Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer are back with Delhi Daredevils. “Ricky Ponting has been appointed as head coach and we are going with the idea of having continuity. We have retained two youngsters and the whole team will be built around them. Chris Morris is a top all-rounder,” DD CEO Hemant Dua said. The franchises like CSK, Mumbai Indians, Delhi Daredevils and RCB had retained three players each in their squad. The Mumbai Indians retained Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya as second and third retention.

The MI supremo Akash Ambani said that “Rohit and MI are synonymous while Hardik and Bumrah are special for us. We are happy that we were able to retain some players. Hardik and Bumrah are pillars of our franchise”. The Kohli-led RCB retained AB de Villiers as its second retention and invested in the young Sarfaraz Khan for Rs 3 crore. On the other hand, RCB sent its ace player Chris Gayle back to the auction pool. “Virat and AB retain themselves. In Sarfaraz, we wanted to invest in youth as he is a phenomenal player,” RCB team director Amrit Thomas said.

Salman Khan retains top rank in Forbes India Celebrity 100 list, SRK on second

The Bollywood’s Sultan Salman Khan has once again topped the spot in Forbes India Celebrity 100 list for the second consecutive year. The Badshah of Bollywood, Shahrukh Khan, got the second spot on the list. Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli spot third in the list. The actress Priyanka Chopra was the only female celebrity in top 10 list. These rankings are calculated on the estimates of entertainment-related earnings of celebrities. The 2017 Forbes India Celebrity 100 list rankings were under the period on October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017.

The superstar Salman grabbed the top spot for the second continuous year, though the not so great box office collection of his film ‘Tubelight’. The 51-year-old actor earned Rs 232.83 crore, which also includes Khan’s various big advertisements. On the other hand, Salman’s income constitutes 8.67 percent of the total earnings – Rs 2,683 crore of the top 100 celebrities for the year. The Bollywood’s Badshah also retained his position at number two with Rs 170.5 crore and also India’s skipper Virat Kohli at third spot with 100.72 crores. Even though all the top three retained to their ranks, their cumulative income declined by almost 20 percent, down to Rs 504.05 crore compared to last year’s total of Rs 626.52 crore.

The CEO of Forbes India and President (Revenue) Joy Chakraborthy, TV18 said, “We are delighted to present yet another collector’s edition of Forbes India which will hit the stands soon. Over the years this list has established itself as the definitive benchmark of who’s making what in the entire entertainment world.” “This year’s celebrity 100 lists are based on a revised methodology focusing on the celebrities’ earnings, thus reflecting in better representation and hence well-rounded Celebrity list of 100,” he added. Talking about the south actors in the list, there are 13 actors in the list this year compared to last year’s 11. On the other hand, the Bollywood actors list fall down from 35 to 33, lowering their cumulative income by 13 percent from the last year.

Virat Kohli-Anushka Sharma: This is what we know so far

Everywhere news is surfing like anything and that is about the wedding of Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma. This elegant couple has rumored to fly to Italy to get married in Milan, which could be the possible destination. According to the sources, the wedding may take place on December 12 with the very few details from Bollywood as well as Cricket sources who have been preferring being mum on the issue.

There have been rumors going for a long time as Kohli asked BCCI and the selectors have some break from the cricket because of constantly playing over the last 48 months. Anushka, on the other hand, also took a break from her busy work schedule and was pictured at the Mumbai Airport alongside her family for the flight destined for Italy. There are reports that only Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar are invited for the big day of Virat’s life. Virat’s coach Rajkumar Jha has also been invited. The head of DDCA Cricket Advisory Committee Madan Lal confirmed that Rajkumar is on leave for some personal reasons and was not present for the CK Nayudu semifinal.

A report by MensXP says, “Not many people have been invited, as it is a really small function. Just close ones are invited, Virat’s childhood friends and few of our family members. From cricket fraternity, only Sachin and Yuvraj will be seen, if they make it to the wedding. And of course, Virat’s Coach Rajkumar Sharma who once taught him. There were others too but they can’t make it for the day.” It is expected that the wedding is to be a close-knit affair with family members and only close friends invited for the marriage. The Indian cricket team will be playing ODI series against Sri Lanka at that time as Kohli has taken some rest before the South Africa series, which is all set to start in January.

Virat Kohli: The Absolute Legend

Is there anyone who is not a fan of Virat Kohli? I don’t think so. We all love Indian skipper Kohli like anything. There are umpteen reasons why Indians love Kohli so much. We are not going to talk about the records of the Indian cricket team captain here but we will talk about the new discussion in which we believe in. The 29-year-old cricketer is performing so amazingly good and improving himself so rapidly that we won’t mind calling him the “Legend”.

Wholly a complete cricketer Virat Kohli is that he has become an inspiration for all the future cricketers. With the speed this 29-year-old cricketer is going, we can sense that he’s the only cricketer in Indian team who has the chances to break the records of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar. We won’t compare Kohli with any other legendary cricketer because the Indian captain is a legend himself. Praising Kohli is not the motive of this article but to accept the fact, not so common yet, Kohli is already a legend. We are not pressurizing any kind of extra burden on the cricketer but valuing his achievement at so early stage of his life. In history, we haven’t witnessed too many cricketers who performed so well from this early age of their careers but Kohli definitely comes on the list of those rare cricketers including Sachin Tendulkar.

As we said earlier in this article that the motive is not to talk about the achievements of the Indian skipper Virat Kohli but to give him recognition in every such way we can because our generation has one cricketer about whom we are going to talk with upcoming generation in some years. From his sincerity for his game to his abilities to cope up with any situation, Kohli defined at every given moment that he’s not just a cricketer but a legend. Being a true cricket fan, I feel our Indian cricket is in purely safe hands because there is one guy named as “KOHLI” in it. He is the undisputed legend of our cricket. The whole world follows him so do we! We are proud to call ourselves “The Virat Kohli Fans”.

This article is a very small effort by a true Virat Kohli fan to give him tribute for making India proud and making cricket famous than ever before. You are truly a legend.