England keep Cricket World Cup hopes alive after beating India by 31 runs at Edgbaston

30 Jun

England kept their World Cup dreams alive with a stirring victory over India, Jonny Bairstow letting his bat do the talking with a match-winning century at Edgbaston.

The stakes were incredibly high for the hosts after back-to-back defeats but Eoin Morgan’s side held their nerve in a 31-run success, ending India’s undefeated streak and reclaiming their own place in the top four.

Man of the match Jonny Bairstow salutes the Edgbaston crowd

Bairstow’s suggestion that critics were ‘waiting for us to fail‘ had been poorly received during the week but he repaid any lingering debt in style, striking 111 to set up an imposing 337 for seven.

Bairstow did not go into battle alone, fit-again opening partner Jason Roy setting the tone with an aggressive 66 and Ben Stokes making it three half-centuries in a row with his bustling 79, but his knock did the heaviest lifting.

Roared on by a hugely partisan crowd which flipped home advantage on its head, India needed luck and skill if they were to make a record World Cup chase and Rohit Sharma had both.

Dropped at slip by Joe Root with just four to his name, he went on to make 102.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma gave India a fighting chance against England
Liam Plunkett took three wickets during the vital win

But despite that England’s attack showed their mettle, Chris Woakes taking two wickets and a glorious boundary catch while Liam Plunkett justified his recall in place of Moeen Ali with three for 55 – including master batsman Virat Kohli.

England may not need to see off New Zealand at Chester-le-Street to seal a semi-final place but they go into their last group game knowing nobody can stop them if they do.

Is Virat Kohli the greatest ODI batsman of all-time?

22 Jan

Virat Kohli cemented his place in cricketing history by becoming the first man to claim all three top prizes at the ICC Awards.

After an incredible 2018, the India captain was named Cricketer of the Year, as well as Men’s Test and ODI Player of the Year.

Virat Kohli earned a clean sweep at the ICC Awards

But forget 2018, no one in this generation comes close to Kohli in the shorter format.

The 30-year-old is the fastest man to score 10,000 ODI runs in the history of the game, and in terms of numbers, there’s a simple argument to suggest he’s the greatest ODI batsman ever.

He averaged 133.55 runs in one-dayers last year which, quite frankly, is ridiculous.

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And former Australia captain Michael Clarke is doubtless as to where Kohli stands among the cricketing greats.

“To me, Virat Kohli is the greatest batsman to have ever played one-day cricket. I have no doubts after seeing what he has achieved for India,” Clarke told PTI in an interview.

Sachin Tendulkar may have something to say about that.

Here, talkSPORT.com takes a look at where Kohli ranks among some of the best ODI batsmen of all-time.

Sir Vivian Richards (West Indies)

Matches: 187

Runs scored: 6,721

Batting average: 47.00

Centuries: 11

Top score: 189*

Ricky Ponting (Australia)

Matches: 375

Runs: 13,704

Batting average: 42.03

Centuries: 30

Top score: 164

Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)

Matches: 404

Runs: 14,234

Batting average: 41.98

Centuries: 25

Top score: 169

AB de Villiers (South Africa)

Matches: 228

Runs scored: 9,577

Batting average: 53.50

Centuries: 25

Top score: 176

Sachin Tendulkar (India)

Matches: 463

Runs: 18,426

Batting average: 44.83

Centuries: 49

Top score: 200*

Virat Kohli (India)

Matches: 219

Runs: 10,385

Batting average: 59.68

Centuries: 39

Top score: 183

Of course, numbers aren’t everything, and since the days of Sir Viv Richards, the game has evolved into something far more explosive.

However, in terms of technique, Kohli stands toe-to-toe with all of the above players.

To watch Kohli bat is one of those sporting privileges – like a Roger Federer backhand or a Lionel Messi free-kick.

Virat Kohli might already be the greatest ODI batsman of all time

And what’s truly remarkable is that while he’s raced to 10,000 runs faster than anyone in ODI history, he never looks rushed.

If he carries on in this vein, there’s nothing to suggest he shouldn’t surpass Tendulkar as the greatest in history, and numbers aside, he may well be there already.

talkSPORT has bagged the exclusive rights for England’s tour of India in 2020-2021.

Every ball of the tour will be broadcast live on talkSPORT 2 including all T20s, ODI’s and Test Matches against the current World number one Test side.

England vs India: Virat Kohli emerges from dropped chances to punish Joe Root’s side

2 Aug

Virat Kohli’s masterclass century defied England and dragged India back into the contest on a gripping second day of the first Specsavers Test at Edgbaston.

Sam Curran (four for 74) made a sterling home bid for the headlines, with three wickets in eight balls during a titanic first hour of the afternoon – and England were well-served too by Ben Stokes and James Anderson.

Kohli was in sensational form

But Kohli (149) was an unstoppable force – after two dropped chances – as he banished memories of his miserable maiden Test tour to this country four years ago – when he averaged 13.4, with a top-score of 39 – as he compiled his 22nd Test century in an India total of 274 which contained no other innings above 26.

Kohli’s one-man show meant a home lead of only 13 after the tourists’ last two wickets added 92 – and when Alastair Cook was bowled for the second day in succession by a Ravi Ashwin off-break, for a duck this time, England reached stumps nine for one second time round.

The India captain attracted an outbreak of partisan boos when he walked out at 54 for two, thanks to his controversial ‘send-off’ after running out his opposite number Joe Root the previous day.

But 172 balls later, he had the last laugh – amid another energetic celebration – after cutting Stokes for his 14th four to reach three-figures as he dominated a last-wicket stand of 57 in which Umesh Yadav made just an unbeaten single.

Sam Curran was England’s star with the ball

India’s reply to 287 all out was eventful from the outset, but they nonetheless reached 50 without loss.

Curran – who had earlier failed to add to his overnight 24 as England mustered just two extra runs for their last remaining wicket – then quickly proved a dab-hand in helpful conditions.

Murali Vijay was pinned lbw, KL Rahul dragged his second ball on to his stumps, and then Dhawan edged to second slip.

After lunch Stokes soon proved he could swing the ball just as effectively as Curran, only faster.

While India were stuck on 100 for 21 balls, a full match quota of incident took place.

Two wickets, two dropped catches and Hardik Pandya’s overturned review on nought is the synopsis of a mesmeric passage of play.

Anderson’s long-awaited duel with Kohli culminated in an edge to second slip on 21, only for Dawid Malan to put down a costly low catch.

England dropped several catches

One ball later, Pandya – still on nought – this time edged to Cook at first slip, and another chance went begging.

England therefore just had two successes to show for their compelling hour of cricket.

Ajinkya Rahane had tried to leave one that bounced on him from Stokes, and managed only to edge to Keaton Jennings at third slip.

Then Dinesh Karthik lost his middle-stump to an inswinger which brought Stokes his 100th Test wicket.

It was testament to Kohli’s great determination, skill and some good fortune that he survived when it seemed at one point a wicket was odds-on every ball.

He did so again, immediately after reaching his half-century with his ninth four, when he was again dropped by Malan in the slips – a much tougher chance than the previous, off Stokes.

After tea, Anderson finally had deserved reward with a dead-eyed delivery which took the off-bail as Ashwin played inside the line – and when a driving Mohammed Shami edged him to Malan, India were eight down and still 105 runs behind.

But Kohli was far from done as he went on to better his 2014 tour aggregate in just one attempt before finally cutting Adil Rashid into the hands of point to leave England’s openers 3.4 overs of aggravation – time for Cook to find trouble again.

Cricket news: India superstar Virat Kohli to join Surrey on a one-month deal

3 May
Cricket news: India superstar Virat Kohli to join Surrey on a one-month deal
Virat Kohli is to join Surrey

Surrey have pulled off a major coup by landing India captain Virat Kohli on a one-month deal.

Kohli, cricket’s biggest global star, has agreed to join the Brown Caps throughout June.

News of Kohli’s first domestic deal on foreign soil is the latest example of a relaxation in attitude from the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

The BCCI has also allowed Cheteshwar Pujara (Yorkshire), Ishant Sharma (Sussex) and Varun Aaron (Leicestershire) to sign as overseas players in England this year.

The 29-year-old averages more than 50 in all three formats for India and is ranked as the top one-day batsman in the world.

Kohli said: “It has long been an ambition of mine to play county cricket and I am thankful to (director of cricket) Alec Stewart and Surrey for allowing me the opportunity to join them during their 2018 season. I can’t wait to get to the Kia Oval.”

Former England captain Stewart said: “We are thrilled to have signed the biggest name in world cricket for the month of June.

“Playing and training alongside Virat will be a massive benefit for our players who will have the opportunity to learn so much from him.

“At a time when there is much discussion around the future of county cricket, the arrival of Virat should give our domestic game a massive boost and positive exposure around the cricketing world which in turn can benefit every county.”

Kohli will be available for three Royal London One-Day Cup games and three Specsavers County Championship fixtures.

Surrey’s current overseas player, South Africa’s Dean Elgar, is contracted to the end of May and they have also strengthened their bowling attacking with recently-retired Proteas seamer Morne Morkel on a Kolpak deal.