Thursday, May 28, 2020 | ePaper

Kohli hot on Smith's heels as India eye clean sweep

  • Print


AFP, Ranchi :
On-song Virat Kohli is looking to topple Aussie run machine Steve Smith in the international batting rankings as India push for a whitewash over South Africa in the third Test starting Saturday.
Kohli's career-best 254 not out in India's second successive win in the three-match series moved him to within one point of Smith in the International Cricket Council Test chart.
Smith replaced Kohli at number one last month following his blazing Ashes series against England and after the Indian star made a golden duck against the West Indies.
The Australian, who only returned to Tests in August after a year-long ban for ball-tampering, is out of action in the five-day format until November 21 when Australia host Pakistan.
Kohli regained lost ground against the struggling South Africans in the current series as he registered his seventh Test double century, joining England great Wally Hammond and Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene.
He also went past Don Bradman's tally of 6,996 runs in 52 Tests that led India to register their record 11th straight Test triumph at home. Australia had two streaks of 10 wins in a row.
"I'm just happy to be where I am. Putting the team in a commanding position is the only thing I strive for," Kohli, who tops the ODI batting chart, said after India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in Pune on Sunday.
"Of course I enjoy scoring runs, but if they come in a winning cause, nothing like it."
Kohli meanwhile has even won praise from former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar who praised the Indian for his "fearless" brand of cricket.
"He will score 250 in future as well," Akhtar said on his YouTube channel. "Kohli has learnt from his mistakes and has become a good captain."
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis will be hoping to give his team more of a chance from the get-go in Ranchi after losing the toss in the first two Tests.
This allowed India to amass a mammoth first-innings total of 502 in Visakhapatnam as South Africa's bowlers toiled, a feat outdone in Pune when the hosts declared on 601.
This prompted former England captain Michael Vaughan to call Indian Test pitches "boring".
"The first ¾ days the contest is far too in favour of the bat… needs more action for the bowler," Vaughan tweeted last Friday.
Dean Elgar's 160 has been the visitors' only standout show in the series so far.
Paceman Kagiso Rabada said the up-and-coming team - following the retirements of Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn - should pick up the positives and move ahead.
"Our team is fresh and young, so the best thing we can do is look at where we can improve and remember our strengths and build on them," he said.
He added, "From a physical point of view we need to execute our skills and from a mental point of view, we need to believe we can do it in certain situations. It's a balance we're working on."

More News For this Category

T20 World Cup in Australia set to be postponed, official announcement this week

T20 World Cup in Australia set to be postponed, official announcement this week

cricketnext.com :The ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia is all set to be postponed, according to a report in Times of India. The tournament is currently scheduled to

Williamson expresses his interest to play in BPL

Williamson expresses his interest to play in BPL

BSS, Dhaka :New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, who was the fifth foreign guest in 'Tamim Iqbal's Live Show', expressed his interests to play the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), the

ICC cricket committee dissuades use of saliva to shine ball

ICC cricket committee dissuades use of saliva to shine ball

Agency :The cricket committee of the ICC has officially recommended that saliva must not be used to shine the ball in light of the health and safety risk it

Taskin banks on fitness, extreme pace to make a comeback

Taskin banks on fitness, extreme pace to make a comeback

BSS, Dhaka :Bangladesh's promising fast bowler Taskin Ahmed is eyeing to return to national fold as he felt that he gained the necessary fitness and the pace that ensures

Khawaja will find it difficult to return to the Test side: Ponting

Khawaja will find it difficult to return to the Test side: Ponting

Agency :Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, believes it is difficult for Usman Khawaja to make it back to the Test team. The left-hander lost his place in the

Sri Lanka Cricket willing to host India, Bangladesh in July

Sri Lanka Cricket willing to host India, Bangladesh in July

Agency :With curfews relaxing in Sri Lanka, the country's cricket board reportedly plans to go ahead with the forthcoming series against Bangladesh and India.India were scheduled to play three

Mashrafe not parting away from his bracelet

Mashrafe not parting away from his bracelet

BSS, Dhaka :Mashrafe Bin Mortaza won't have to part away from his precious bracelet despite the belonging, which has been a part of his memorable moments for the last

Akbar's jersey-gloves sold for Tk. 1.70 lakh

Akbar's jersey-gloves sold for Tk. 1.70 lakh

BSS, Dhaka :Under-19 captain Akbar Ali's jersey and gloves, which he used during the final of the World Cup and created a record, were sold for Tk. 1.70 lakh.Nibco

Alyssa Healy to Cricket Australia Don't reduce women's domestic games to save money

Alyssa Healy to Cricket Australia Don't reduce women's domestic games to save money

Agency :A cash-strapped Cricket Australia must not sacrifice the number of matches for women to cut costs when it restructures the domestic schedule, feels star wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy.A shortened

Bangladeshi supporters are very loyal to the country: Rohit Sharma

Bangladeshi supporters are very loyal to the country: Rohit Sharma

BSS, Dhaka :India's opener Rohit Sharma termed Bangladeshi supporters a very loyal to the country, stating that Bangladesh is the only country 'Where we don't get much support.'Considered as