In today’s latest cricket news, learn more about Brad Haddin, a former Australian wicketkeeper, believes that in-form ace Steve Smith must not only return to Australia’s T20 team, but also start the batting. Meanwhile, in his book, former India fielding coach R Sridhar describes an incident that left former India head coach Ravi Shastri angry. Lastly, former Pakistani batter Haroon Rasheed has been chosen as the national selection committee’s chief selector.
After Smith’s T20 “Masterclass,” Aus Selectors Should Act
Brad Haddin, a former Australian wicketkeeper, thinks Steve Smith should return to the T20 team and start the batting.
Smith’s “brutal” knock of 66 runs off 33 balls in the Sydney Sixers’ BBL match against the Hobart Hurricanes on Monday night prompted Haddin’s call.
For the fourth consecutive T20 match, Smith opened the batting and hit four fours and six sixes before being trapped LBW by Nathan Ellis’ full throw. Smith’s strange dismissal prevented him from making cricket history by scoring three consecutive T20 hundreds.
After hits of 36, 101, and 125 not out, Smith’s four-match BBL12 runs aggregate reached 328, ranking seventh in the competition despite the top six having played at least 11 games. Fox Cricket’s Isa Guha called his 24 sixes for the competition “simply astounding.”
“It’s just been another Steven Smith masterclass,” said Brett Lee of Fox Cricket.
“He is in career-best form, definitely in this format of the game… Bat swing is back.
He’s BBL eating.
“When you look back at this week for Steven Smith… he has crushed bowling attacks all throughout Australia.”
After being sidelined for most of Australia’s T20 World Cup campaign, in which it won just three of four games, Smith’s Big Bash campaign was spectacular.
Selectors were disturbed by his pre-tournament T20I strike rate of 111.45 across 18 matches.
But Smith’s strike rate of 180.21 over his past four games for the Sixers is leading in the BBL, demonstrating great timing, power, and class at the crease.
While Smith’s focus will swiftly shift to other formats—Australia has two crucial Test series against India and England before the ODI World Cup in October and November—national selectors will also be aware of the 2024 T20 World Cup in the West Indies.
During Fox Cricket’s Hurricanes-Sixers match, Haddin observed, “I don’t think you can not employ someone in this sort of form.” I suppose he’ll fit at the top. Why not? He’s 33 and has another World Cup in 20 overs.
“Steve Smith’s one of the greatest, if not the best, at playing on slow wickets, and that’s what the West Indies (pitches) are going to be.”
“In this state, he’ll be at the top.”
However, Lee noted selection could go a different path.
Lee told Fox Cricket, “There’s a few months between drinks, so to speak, till the next T20 match, but to me it depends on what they’re thinking with the next generation coming through.”
“If there’s a tournament or World Cup happening today, 100% yes.” But if it’s far away, they might bring in another young cricketer and worry about the future.
It’s workload… He’ll play Test cricket as long as he can, as he’s one of the world’s finest.”
“Yeah absolutely,” Smith told Fox Cricket after the contest.
“I think I hit the ball in pretty odd spots, so with two fielders out that sort of aids me and I can get into my work. I can then hit the gaps or hit the ball over the fence, which I’ve done in the last several games.
It was enjoyable. Hopefully I can keep doing it up top.”
After an unbeaten Test double century against the West Indies and a half-century and century against South Africa, Smith’s T20 form has improved. Before the Tests, he scored 80 not out and 94 in two ODIs against England.
Smith made some tweaks to his distinctive batting method in November to help him regain his career-best form, which paid off this summer.
On Monday night, former England bowler Isa Guha explained Smith’s changes.
She told Fox Cricket, “He talked about opening up his grip, almost like playing the backspin like a tennis player rather than topspin.”
“It allows him to have that reach below the ball and also the side-on approach to get that power into the shot.”
Angered Ravi. When Shastri Criticized Dhoni’s Slow Innings
Former India fielding coach R Sridhar’s recently published book, “Coaching Beyond: My Days with the Indian Cricket Team,” gives readers a glimpse into the Indian dressing room. In 2018, former India head coach Ravi Shastri was furious at MS Dhoni for his slow knock in the ODI series against England.
India played five Tests, three T20Is, and three ODIs in England. After winning the T20I series 2-1, India won the opening ODI by eight wickets in their chase of 269. In the second game, Virat Kohli’s team lost by 86 runs.
Sridhar recalled that Shastri cared more about Dhoni’s chase strategy than the margin of loss or the result. After Joe Root’s “bat-drop” knock of 113 runs set a target of 323, Kohli and Suresh Raina’s 80-run partnership kept India in the hunt. However, their dismissal in five overs and Hardik Pandya’s exit for 21 runs left Dhoni with the majority of the chase. From 66 balls, India needed 133 runs.
“We were in the hunt when Virat and Suresh Raina were batting, but as we lost wickets, MS was left with only the bowlers for company heading into the last 10 overs.” He unexpectedly closed shop, and even though our required rate in the last 10 was about 13 an over, we only scored 20 runs in the next six overs. That innings marked MS’s 10,000 ODI runs. Sridhar stated, “We were all happy for him, but we also wanted to know why he hadn’t made even a minimal attempt at the target.”
Dhoni scored 37 runs off 59 balls with two boundaries before getting removed in the 47th over. India lost 236 runs. Sridhar claimed that Shastri was not upset over the loss but rather disappointed with Dhoni’s chase approach and understood that the former India skipper would not escape the fury. Sridhar then recounted the heated dressing-room lecture in Headingley, delivered during the team meeting but directed at Dhoni, before the series’ final match.
Meanwhile, Ravi was furious. He was furious not because we lost by 86 runs but because we didn’t fight. We didn’t go for the goal or punch, we just went down tamely. He said, “The head coach wasn’t going to let that one sail harmlessly.”
“The decider was in Headingley, and we had a team meeting the day before. Ravi was going to make a forceful point, and the whole squad was there, including the support crew. He said, “No matter who you are, there should not be another moment when we lose a match not wanting to win it.” Not on my watch. If somebody does it, that will be the last bloody cricket game under my watch. No shame in losing a cricket match, but not like this.
Sridhar noted that during Shastri’s fiery pep talk, he kept eye contact with Dhoni. While Shastri’s speech would have frightened any other cricketer, Dhoni stayed calm and followed every word.
“MS was sitting right there in the front, and while Ravi’s statements were meant for the squad, his eyes were concentrated on MS.” To his credit, the former skipper never flinched and kept eye contact with Ravi. The former India fielding coach continued, “He didn’t look here and there or fidget because one of his many remarkable attributes is his ability to take the hits, especially when he knows in his heart of hearts that he deserves them.”
A year later, during the World Cup 2019, Dhoni will play a similar innings against England. India fell short by 31 runs as Dhoni scored 42 from 31 balls in the final five overs. Dhoni was criticized by fans and experts for his strategy, which was partly to protect India’s net run-rate and partly to prevent Pakistan from reaching the semifinals.
Pakistan Cricket Board Appoints Haroon Rasheed As Chief Selector
Original Source: Pakistan Cricket Board Appoints Haroon Rasheed As Chief Selector
Pakistan’s national selection committee top selector is former batter Haroon Rasheed. On Monday, PCB chairman Najam Sethi informed media in Lahore that Haroon will lead the new selection committee, but the other members will be chosen later. On December 22, PCB patron-in-chief Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif appointed Haroon, 69, to the 14-member cricket management committee.
As chief selector, Haroon has resigned from the management committee, Sethi added.
Last year, PCB High Performance Centre Director Haroon retired after 23 Tests and 12 ODIs for Pakistan.
Chief selector, manager, and head coach of senior and junior teams are among his other board roles.
After taking power, the cricket management committee elected Shahid Afridi interim chief selector. Sethi wanted him to stay, but the former all-rounder declined, citing his foundation and charity activities.
Sethi also stated that negotiations with Mickey Arthur were ongoing and that a new Pakistani head coach would be announced in two or three days.
“I’m negotiating directly with Mickey for 90% of the talks. We covered numerous areas and may have excellent news shortly.” “If Mickey comes he will make his own squad and we will merely find how much we need to pay them and this situation will be handled in 2-3 days.” After the World Cup, chairman Ehsan Mani did not renew Arthur’s contract as Pakistan’s head coach from 2016 to 2019.
Summary of Today’s Cricket/Sports News
Overall, in form superstar Steve Smith must not only return to Australia’s T20 side, but also start the batting, according to former Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. Haddin rang up Smith after Smith’s latest brilliant batting display in the BBL match between the Sydney Sixers and the Hobart Hurricanes on Monday night, in which Smith scored 66 runs off just 33 balls in a “brutal” knock, in Haddin’s words.
Meanwhile, in his book, former India fielding coach R Sridhar recalls how former India head coach Ravi Shastri, who was in charge of the squad in 2018, was left angry at MS Dhoni for his slow knock in an ODI series against England.
Finally, Haroon Rasheed, a former batter for Pakistan, has been named head of the national selection committee. Haroon will be leading the new selection committee, according to Najam Sethi, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), who informed reporters in Lahore on Monday. On December 22, PCB patron-in-chief and Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif selected 69-year-old Haroon to serve on the board’s 14-person cricket management committee.