Cricket News

England Stumble on Perfect Formula

England’s test team has struggled to find a balanced top order in recent years and those struggles have led to some embarrassing batting collapses. Ben Stokes’ heroics at Headingley in the 2019 Ashes series masked the fact that the hosts made just 67 on first innings and that effort was indicative of those issues at the time.

Moving forward from that series and into England’s tour of South Africa, that top six may finally be falling into place and while the recovery may come too late in terms of the World Test Championship, Joe Root’s men are suddenly looking in good shape for the 2021/22 Ashes.

Opening Up

100 for Rory Burns” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by little-pete

It was well-documented that Alastair Cook had no fewer than 15 opening partners from his debut in 2006 through to his final test against India in 2018. 12 years is a long career but, following an extended period of stability with Andrew Strauss, it all began to fall apart.

Sam Robson, Adam Lyth, Mark Stoneman and Alex Hales are just four of those 15 players who failed to cement a place alongside the former captain at the top of the order. However, after a lengthy search, Cook’s retirement has indirectly led to what looks to be a stable pairing. Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley look to possess the technique, the patience and the mindset to bat long in test match cricket, and it’s all starting to look a lot more positive.

In Tandem

The Ashes series is always going to be a target and England’s batting is starting to fall into place. Early cricket betting markets show Australia as favourites to retain the urn at 8/15 but England’s price of 11/4 could hold some value.

The Burns and Sibley opening partnership started positively enough as they put on 52 for the first wicket against New Zealand back in November. It was a poor test for England overall but the two men had just started to bring some resistance back to a prime area of concern.

A freak injury to Burns in South Africa curtailed their partnership but they are expected to resume when test cricket returns. With Sibley averaging just over 40 from his first six matches and Burns starting to look solid after a modest early return, the two look to be the first choice opening pairing.

Through the Order

Behind the top two, the gritty Joe Denly looks to have done enough to keep his place at number three, but if the selectors turn to youth Kent colleague Zac Crawley could come in as replacement. With Joe Root and Ben Stokes to follow, England are suddenly looking far more solid as a batting unit and there are fewer weaknesses for the Aussie bowlers to exploit.

Australia vs England should always be a hard-fought series but when Root’s men last came here in 2017/18, a one-sided 4-0 victory for the hosts underlined those weaknesses. From November 2021 onwards, the emergence of a settled top order could make for a more close encounter.

Cricket News

Where Cricket Fans Meet Online

If you’re a serious cricket fan who is currently lamenting the fact that you can’t go watch a match with your regular crew, you probably miss the camaraderie. Cricket fans are known for being a highly enthusiastic, entertaining, and welcoming bunch, so it is only natural that you would want to connect with those who share the same love of the sport that you do. Luckily, there are plenty of ways online to get in touch with other cricket fans and to swap stories, stats, and debate the details of all that goes into making cricket such a great game.

Dedicated cricket sports sites

Whether you’re checking out the latest Cricket news on Sportsadda or another popular sports site, take a look at their social media section to instantly be connected with other sports fans. Although many sites don’t allow for comments directly on their web pages, many post frequently on social media, and these posts serve as a rich springboard for varied discussion. Whether you prefer Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you can pick your favourite platform and start connecting with other fans.

Message and discussion boards

If the big social platforms aren’t really your style, you can also find more niche pockets of the internet to engage in discussion about your favourite cricket team. Just type in a specific opinion about a team or player, or a question you’re eager to get the answer to. Chances are you’ll be led to a place where you’ll find others eager to have the discussion.

Fantasy cricket

If you’re getting sick of talking and are looking to try your hand at something a little more interactive, fantasy cricket is a great way to build your knowledge of the sport and connect with other passionate fans. You’ll have fun using your imagination to draw up your dream team and can then begin the process of picking apart your opponents’ selection. Think of it as your chance to play coach and to see how your skills might stack up if you really were the one in charge.

Fan clubs

If you’re dedicated to a specific team, you’ll likely be able to find an active fan base for your club online. You might have to do a little searching to see which platform they’re most active on, but it is usually easy to figure out and you’ll then have access to a whole squad of like-minded fans. These groups often have contests, meetups, and other initiatives that allow people to connect on a more personal basis and develop their fandoms together. Can’t find what you’re looking for? You can always start your own.

Follow your favourite sports journalist

If you love one sports writer or commentator’s take on the game, it’s a good idea to check out their online presence. It will likely lead you to other fans who have the same outlook on the sport and appreciate a similar kind of analysis or commentary. Most sportswriters take their online persona quite seriously, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding links to other pieces they’ve done or publications they’ve written for.

Dating sites

Perhaps you’re looking to make a romantic connection with another devoted cricket fan? If you’ve never looked into the various sports-based dating services available online, you are in for a treat. Similar to other online dating websites, you fill out the information to populate your own profile and then you can begin sifting through profiles that match your interests and connecting with those that pique your interest. If cricket isn’t a solid foundation for a lasting relationship, we don’t know what is.

Cricket News

Khawaja, Marsh miss CA contracts for 20/21

The worldwide careers of Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh are in jeopardy after they have been the large name casualties from Cricket Australia’s contract listing.

Twelve months in the past the pair were struggling with the obligation of keeping Australia’s Test batting order together within the absence of banned ball-tamperers David Warner and Steve Smith.

Their failure to stay up to that obligation might also have ended their time within the Baggy Green with both players dropped in 2019.

While Khawaja, 33, and Marsh, 36, are on the outer with selectors Marnus Labuschagne is looking the goods after a super first season at the top level.

Khawaja and Marsh had been joined by using out-of-favour all-rounder Marcus Stoinis at the ‘snubbed’ listing, at the same time as Test opener Marcus Harris became additionally left off.

In a media release, men’s countrywide selector Trevor Hohns discussed a number of the panel’s biggest decisions.

“There is a lot of cricket on the horizon throughout all three forms of the sport consisting of an ICC T20 World Cup, home Test summer against India, One-Day matches and a tour of South Africa,” he said.

“For that reason, it’s vital to discover a strong balance and a list which covers all forms of the game.

“With some of the squad crossing into all three codecs it offers us the advantage of being able to upload in specialists relying at the competition and the conditions. The depth of this squad and the achievement of the past one year offers us that strong base.”

Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson and Matthew Wade received call-ups to the nationally contracted listing. All were upgraded to the contracted list inside the past 12 months.

“We feel all deserve their inclusion recognising the performances of those players within the past 365 days and, as importantly, what they could offer in the next 365 days,” Hohns said.

“Marnus’ upward thrust has been meteoric and properly documented, Joe has been an awesome Test suit participant, Ashton Agar’s form in T20 internationals has been exceptional, whilst Kane Richardson has been remarkable in the twenty over and one-day games.

“Matthew Wade’s summer confirmed he is not simplest a hard however a terrific Test player for us. His form prolonged into white ball cricket late in the summer, incomes him properly deserved name ups to the one-day and T20 Australian squads.

“After missing the listing ultimate yr Mitch Marsh’s recent shape confirmed he has quite a few international cricket beforehand of him as a batting all-rounder. Mitch proved this with his man of the in shape performance towards New Zealand at the SCG within the last game Australia played and a five-wicket haul inside the last Test match he played on the Ashes excursion.”

Nathan Coulter-Nile, Peter Handscomb and Ashton Turner have been the alternative players to drop off the contract list, at the same time as Peter Siddle has retired from worldwide cricket.

“As is always the case there are unfortunate omissions however, however, because you aren’t at the list does not suggest you can’t be selected to play for Australia.”

Players not presented contracts as a part of the preliminary squad of 20 can earn a place throughout the year by using accruing 12 upgrade factors. Players acquire five points for a Test match, two for a One-Day International and one for a T20 International.

Cricket News

Only Words of Praise for Rahul Dravid

The former Indian cricketer and captain of the Indian national team, Rahul Dravid, has been in the spotlight lately. Dravid has left a significant mark on the lives of his fellow teammates and opponents.

Dravid has not played in any cricket matches recently, but he is still a familiar name to hear when talking about Indian cricket. Cricket fans know him as Mr. Dependable, and he has proven to be such a player and person with his actions on and off the field.

Dravid’s Career

Dravid has been a part of the Indian national team as a batsman for 16 years, and two of them as a captain. Many fans and critics say that his career as captain is underrated. Dravid has led India in 25 Tests and 79 ODIs, with 8 and 42 wins, respectively.

Rahul has received many awards and national honors, such as the Player of the Year and the Test Player of the Year in 2000, awarded by the ICC. In 2018, he was introduced to the ICC Hall of Fame, making him the fifth Indian player to receive that honor.

He retired in 2012 and finished his career with 344 matches played in ODI and 164 Test matches. Dravid played best in Test matches where he holds a record of 210 catches as a non-wicketkeeper fielder. As a batsman, Dravid scored 13,265 runs at an average of 52.62 while playing for India.

Graeme Swann About Dravid

Graeme Swann, a retired English cricketer, recently reminisced about his country’s match against India. Swann mentioned that Sachin Tendulkar, another former Indian cricketer, has caused a lot of headaches for him. However, Swann’s biggest threat on the field was Dravid.

During his rookie years and a match between England and India at Kent in 2000, Swann felt terrified with Dravid across him on the field. Swann managed to get him out but admitted that he would not be able to do it generally. Consequently, it was the only time he got Dravid out and still made him feel like an “11-year-old spinner.”

Dravid as Karun Nair’s Rolemodel

Karun Nair, a promising Indian cricketer, has had the opportunity to play with Rahul Dravid a few times. Nair spent time with Rahul during the Indian Premier League before Dravid’s retirement. Karun remembers Dravid as a mentor that helped him, a domestic cricketer, pave a way to a national career.

Nair was a young and up-and-coming cricketer when Dravid decided to take a chance on him by giving him an opportunity to play for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. After that chance, he got another one to play with Dravid in the Delhi Daredevils.

MS Dhoni Learned from Dravid

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, a former Indian cricketer, admitted that he has learned a few moves from Dravid. Dhoni is known as one of the best wicketkeepers in the history of Indian cricket. However, Dhoni acknowledged that he learned a lot about wicketkeeping skills from Rahul Dravid.

As we mentioned, Dravid was not a full-time wicketkeeper, but he perfected his skills on the field and passed them onto Dhoni whose wicketkeeping skills were not perfect at the start. Dhoni earned his spot in the national team thanks to his explosive batting skills.

Cricket News

Cricket news in the midst of the self-quarantine. When can it start again?

Cricket update:

Unlike other sports affected by COVID-19, Cricket is different due to the complexity of set schedules, tours and players participating in tournaments outside of their country of residence.

The Hundred – Will we see it?

A brand new tournament is set to launch in the UK this July and finish in August which is set to continue the revolution of short-form Cricket. The name ‘Hundred’ is that as this form of Cricket is 100 balls per team. And the big question is ‘The Hundred’ the new tournament that the fans were excited with, will we see it?

Teams have been created from players from around the UK and with players due to come from around the world there is a lot of enthusiasm to see how this tournament is taken by the UK Cricket fans. Currently, the tournament is scheduled to take place, however with all the Cricket before that being pushed back, the tournament owners will want this to go ahead subject to the COVID19 allowing it.

Updates will be shared as we head in to April, but the aim is for this event to take place.

IPL 2020

Another big tournament to mention is the IPL. The biggest twenty over competition in the world was meant to get underway next week, but the tournament has been postponed and with the format of the competition which involves all the teams taking players from all over the world as well as homegrown players, this will have an effect on everyone’s schedule due to other commitments.

With the Cricket calendar having a very tight schedule any movement in dates will have a knock-on effect for other events.

IPL 2020 was going to be the biggest event yet with the best short-form Cricket players from around the around heading to India to take part in the two-month tournament. The IPL consists of 8 teams from different cities in India and the regular participants include the Mumbai Indians who are the record winners with 4 victories. Then there are the Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Dehli Capitals, Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The current situation is there is a review to happen in mid-April, but depending on the continuation of the virus, this date will continue to push back but the aim is to deliver this event in 2020.

Vitality Blast – UK

The 20/20 competition involving all counties is set to start in May, but with the lockdown in the UK due to COVID19, this event may have to be postponed and pushed back. The one key point to note is that unless the tournament can be completed by mid-September, then this tournament will surely not take place, due to the weather in UK most September which doesn’t lend itself to Cricket.

Test Series

England are set to host a three-match summer test series against West Indies and Pakistan. These six matches are set to take place between June and August and form part of the ICC World Test Championship. With the tight schedule as outlined above, this test series may have to be reduced. However given the start date of June, there is still hope that this can be played.

Bangladesh are scheduled to host two test matches against Australia, while when the West Indies leave England, they are set to head home to face South Africa in a two-match test series.

One Day Internationals

There are many one day international series that are being reviewed due to COVID19. Starting with the next scheduled event which is Ireland’s tour of Zimbabwe in April. This is very unlikely to go ahead and will be reviewed to see if it’s cancelled.

Australia are scheduled to head over to England for three day/night internationals in July which currently are scheduled to go ahead.

One other key set of internationals which are scheduled for the summer are New Zealand heading over to West Indies for three matches in July. These are still scheduled to go ahead.

England County Cricket

The county Cricket season is due to start in mid-April and run all the way through to September. The start of the season is scheduled to be postponed which does put this season in doubt given the back lock of fixtures it will cause. There may have to be a decision made to void matches and just begin the season once COVID19 allows the season to start.

In summary, with the Cricket season just about to really ramp up, many tours will have to have to be cancelled due to the meticulous planning of them. Plus with IPL 2020 postponed, there could be a real doubt this goes ahead. Events in July-September are still scheduled so the hope is COVID19 allows these to go ahead.

Cricket News

Kevin Pietersen: What the IPL means to me

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has spoken out on his experiences in the Indian Premier League.

Pietersen valued his time in the IPL and the unique learnings that came with it, saying it shaped him as a cricket.

IPL career was a great time for him that came with plenty of learning along the way and different experiences that helped him grow as a cricketer over the years and into the player he was.

He was made the highest-paid player in IPL history when he was bought for £1.1m in 2009 by Royal Challengers Bangalore before going on to represent Delhi Daredevils and Rising Pune Supergiants.

Pietersen reflected on his IPL journey to Betway.

“You could learn from the greats of the game and understand how they practiced, how they approached games, how they were in team meetings, how thorough they were, how meticulous they were in everything that they did,” Pietersen said.

He noted the pressures that came with being the highest paid player at the time but also took it in his stride. Holding such a title meant there was a bit of a chip on his shoulder to perform better.

“It came with added responsibilities and added pressures.

“When you’re walking in there and the music is banging, everyone is shouting and jumping and ‘walking in for number 3 for RCB is the world’s most expensive buy in the IPL auction’ and you’re just there thinking sheesh okay, okay, okay, right you’re not just walking out to Lords or the MCG or in Barbados as England’s number 4, you’re now that iconic player.”

Pietersen captained both Bangalore and Delhi and scored over 1,000 runs in 37 IPL matches as one of the league’s most celebrated and decorated players. 

He said one of the highlights of his time in the IPL was playing alongside star Indian batsman Virender Sehwag.

“Batting with the likes of Sehwag, I mean, that was an eye opener. Just the careless, free spirit that he is.

“Seeing the bowlers run up to him and he just goes pinga, ponga, panga, he just whacks them all over the place and some of the most fun experiences on the cricket field were with Virender Sehwag. Just a super man.”

Pietersen said he something special in Indian captain Virat Kohli from a young age.

“Sitting on the bus and batting with Virat, I knew he was destined for greatness because of the way he approached the game, the way he learnt, the questions that he asked.

“His determination to be the best player he could possibly be was evident.

“You could see that youngster who was destined and determined to get his team over the line and he wasn’t going to just give his wicket away.

“It didn’t matter how many tests i had played or how much more senior i was in the game, we do have an incredible friendship because I think of maybe the way I treated him as a youngster and guided him at the start of his career.”

The Englishman said no other cricket experience compares to the IPL and its atmosphere

“Nothing compares to the IPL in India.

“There is nothing more spectacular. Nothing more gripping. Nothing more captivating. There is no greater entertainment in the game than coming to watch a bumping Wankhede Stadium or a full Feroz Shah Kotla, or Chenai when M.S Dohni comes out to bat.

“Those partnerships between De Villiers and Kohli down in the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, there is just nothing like it in the sport.”

Cricket News

Latest on Pakistan’s Cricket

The ICC World Test Championship is currently in progress, with 72 matches to be played. The championship started in August 2019 and is predicted to finish in June 2021. The final game will take place at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. However, at the moment, all matches are on hold because of the current worldwide COVID-19 outbreak.

The last match played was on March 13, and Pakistan’s final game was at the beginning of February. Their next match was scheduled for the beginning of April against Bangladesh. Since the start date for all the matches is still to be determined, fans can keep track of live cricket scores online and patiently wait.

Last World Test Championship Game

Pakistan’s last played game in the ICC was against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi on the fourth day of the first test. Pakistan managed to score their second win after a skillfully played match led by Babar Azam. With Naseem Shah as the player of the match, who is only 17 years old, Pakistan swiped the competition by an innings and 44 runs. Bangladesh started at 126 for 6 but ended up folding for 168.

Pakistan’s first hour in the game did not look good, especially when they struck on the sixth ball of the day. Mohammad Abbas removed Liton Das in the 58th over. Bangladesh started the game with an early strike when Bangladesh’s captain went in for a review, but there was no evidence the ball hit the bat first. Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi earned all three reds and a wicket.

Early in the game, it looked like Pakistan could get an innings win, especially after Bangladesh got 156 for 8 after losing another wicket. Pakistan’s Yasir Shah got one to pitch in line and trapped the opponent Liton Das in the front. That resulted in Pakistan being a wicket away from 60 World Test Championship points, leaving it with 140 points, just one point behind fourth-placed England.

Bangladesh showed some promise for future games with talented yet undisciplined batsmen. On the other hand, Pakistan has a relatively young team. Their batters and bowlers have great potential to climb up the Test rankings in a couple of years. Pakistan’s captain Azhar Ali admitted that it isn’t easy to win any Test game, which makes this win even more significant. Additionally, he praised the young Shah for managing a Test hat trick with such success.

What’s Next for Pakistan?

After their last win against Bangladesh, one win and one draw against Sri Lanka, and two lost matches to Australia, Pakistan is hoping for another win. Although that’s rarely the case, the schedule was set for a two-month pause between the two games against Bangladesh and Pakistan. Their next match was set for April in Karachi, but unfortunately, it has been further delayed.

Bangladesh was supposed to arrive in Karachi on March 29, scheduled to play an ODI on April 1 and their second World Test Championship game a couple of days later. Even though the streets are still not empty in Pakistan, the Pakistan Cricket Board decided to take precautionary measures and suspend all matches. That means all ICC and PSL matches are postponed until further notice.

Pakistan’s young team is hoping to repeat the country’s success story from 2017 at the ICC Championship. That year, the team did not start well, losing to their arch-rivals India by 124 runs in the first game. However, they managed to get to the semi-finals and beat the favorite, England, and then win their re-match against India in the finals. A similar thing happened this year, with Australia winning the first match by an innings and 5 runs.

Pakistan’s team can only hope for the same outcome and to win the first trophy at the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship of Test cricket.

Cricket Opinion

England rout means there will be no quick fix for Proteas

Cricket in South Africa is synonymous with the hot African summer. In fact, nothing says that the summer has arrived like sitting on the grass embankment under the oaks during the Boxing Day test match. The prevailing North Easterly off the Indian Ocean brings with it the chance to cool down but also serves as a reminder that the holidays are indeed here.

Despite how picturesque a setting South Africa can be over December, it doesn’t guarantee that the action on the park will match the serenity off it. All things considered, the 2019/2020 summer series against England has been a disaster for the Proteas after they suffered a 3-1 loss at the hands of an English team that exposed their glaring weaknesses.

The Proteas were outplayed in all departments and sadly so were their fans as the Barmy Army outnumbered and outsang them throughout the four-test series. It certainly was a series to forget with the biggest lesson being that there won’t be any quick fixes for the Proteas under new head coach Mark Boucher.

It looked like there may be after South Africa got off to a rip-roaring start at Centurion and ended up winning the first Test, but that feeling of euphoria quickly evaporated as the weeks went by. Instead, Boucher and his coaching staff have been left to pick up the pieces as they get acquainted with the size of the task at hand, it is no doubt much bigger than they initially expected with South African cricket reeling after years of mismanagement.

There was, however, a lot of goodwill around the appointment of Mark Boucher and that won’t dry up anytime soon with the cricketing public in South Africa convinced that he is the right man to bring back the days when the Proteas dominated world cricket. Boucher’s next challenge will be the T20 World Cup where his side are well behind favourites Australia, who are 11/4 to win in cricket betting. Indeed, at 13/2, no one is too sure what to expect from a South African team that is in a race against time to make up for a disastrous few years off the field of play.

The bottom line is that the T20 World Cup in October could once again be too soon for the Proteas but the nature of T20 cricket may assist a side that has to rely on a bit of luck from time to time. The news that AB de Villiers could return for the playing of the tournament will also be a massive bonus for the country. De Villiers has the ability to win a game on his own and there will be a certain trepidation amongst the opposition if he is indeed on the plane to Australia.

Whilst there won’t be any magic bullet for South African cricket, they are on the right road again after straying into the wilderness some years ago. The right man is in charge and the next time England arrive on South African shores in four years time, they will be sure to face a team that is unrecognisable from the one they just played.

Cricket News

Will the Mumbai Indians Retain their IPL Title in 2020?

The organisers of IPL 2019 really could not have wished for a better end to the tournament.

Sunrisers Hyderabad aside, these were arguably the two best teams in the competition when the pressure was really on, and in the final, they served up an instant classic – Mumbai just about defending their 149-8 total with a one-run victory over the Chennai Super Kings.

Rohit Sharma’s team will have a target on their back in 2020 then, and they will need to stand up and be counted given the unique challenges that the IPL champion faces – in 12 years of this competition, only once had the reigning victory successfully defended their crown.

The bookies have made Mumbai their favourites in the latest IPL 2020 cricket betting odds, and given the questionable history of defending champions maybe that is something of a surprise.

However, they have at least recruited well in the off-season, while retaining the services of their title-winning squad of 2019. Trent Boult has been signed from the Delhi Capitals, while the auction saw Aussie pair Chris Lynn and Nathan Coulter-Nile and Saurabh Tiwary, amongst others, join the boys in blue.

They join an already bustling roster that includes captain Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Quinton de Kock, Kieron Pollard, Suryakumar Yadav, Lasith Malinga and the Pandya brothers.

All of the ingredients are in place for a title defence then, but there will be no shortage of rivals also vying for honours.

Delhi Ready to Dish Out Capital(s) Punishment

The cricket-mad fans in India’s capital are yet to see their local team win an edition of the IPL.

When we talk about off-season recruitment, surely the ‘winners’ in 2020 have been the Delhi Capitals.

They have splashed the cash to bring in not one but two eye-catching signings: Ravi Ashwin, from the Kings XI Punjab, and Ajinkya Rahane, who joins from the Rajasthan Royals.

They were incredibly active at the auction too, with Alex Carey, Jason Roy, Chris Woakes, Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis all brought on board.

The Capitals finished third in the regular season with a 9-5 record and then kicked on in the elimination brackets, taking out the Sunrisers in the eliminator before going down to Chennai in Qualifier 2.

Agonisingly close in 2019, the Delhi Capitals will be looking to go at least one better this time around, and with an expansive batting line-up – Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer etc – backed by the likes of Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada and Amit Mishra and those new signings, the capital franchise will surely go close to claiming glory in 2020.

‘Ishant Sharma’ – Naparazzi via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pat Cummins and Lockie Ferguson backed by Andre Russell and Kuldeep Yadav – now that’s a bowling attack!

The Kolkata Knight Riders finished agonisingly short of qualifying for the elimination stage last year, but that bowling line-up – aided by the signing of Eoin Morgan – adds to an impressive roster that already features Sunil Narine and Dinesh Karthik. KKR will have ambitions of a top-four finish in 2020.

Chennai will go with largely the same squad of players that took them to the final of the 2019 edition, which surely means they are a quality seam bowler or two shy, while the Sunrisers will be hoping that David Warner and Jonny Bairstow again flourish at the top of the innings, before Rashid Khan and Khaleel Ahmed bowl them to glory.

But, all of the above taken into consideration, the Mumbai Indians will once again take some stopping.


Approaching Cricket with a Gambler’s Mentality

One of the greatest cricketers of all time, Shane Warne, is also known to be a keen gambler and poker player. There could be a reason why the Australian legend made the switch to the cards after retiring, as the two pastimes share a lot of similarities. There are times during a cricket match when players need to display mental resilience and other occasions when they are required to make calculated risks. There is certainly something to be said for a winning streak bringing about more confidence and allowing players to push on to greater things.

Many young aspiring cricketers will have watched Ben Stokes’ heroic performance in the third Ashes test against Australia and decided they wanted to be just like the 28-year-old. Stokes singlehandedly pulled England back from an impossible situation to claim victory in that match, and he did it through gambling and riding his luck. There are only a select few players throughout history who spring to mind when thinking about who may be capable of such a feat. The likes of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff could have done the same, perhaps, but it could never have been done by a conservative batsman like Michael Atherton or Geoffrey Boycott.

During that incredible innings, Stokes had to go against the traditional form of test match batting which normally requires batsmen to play defensively and wait for the right moment to pull off strokes. Instead, he had to take risks to make sure he was on strike more often than the inexperienced and weaker batsmen, Jack Leach. That last wicket partnership between the two was 76, with Leach scoring one run.

Aggressive batsmen such as Stokes, AB De Villiers, and Chris Gayle tend to grow into the game and look to pull off more impressive shots as they go deeper into an innings. Gamblers play roulette, blackjack, and pokies in a similar way. Many players feel that when they are on a winning streak, the best way to continue to win pokies is to ride that luck and increase the bet sizing. When a batsman is settled at the crease and has scored at least fifty runs, they may feel that this is the time to go for the more ambitious drives and cuts.

Bowlers often need to gamble and take risks as well. When they aren’t having any luck at taking a wicket, the bowler often needs to mix up his choice of delivery. This is especially true for spin bowlers like Adil Rashid, who need to identify the right time to throw in a googly or a flipper.

Just like gamblers, cricketers can get into the zone when they are settled at the crease or after they have bowled a few successful overs. Sometimes, it seems that riding a winning streak is the best way to get good results.