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The Cricket.com Weekly - Edition 12

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Last updated on 07 Jan 2023 | 05:37 AM
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The Cricket.com Weekly - Edition 12

In this newsletter, we take you through all important cricket updates, providing a one-stop destination to satiate the cricket nerd in you

International cricket

It was indeed a very happy new year for the fans of Indian cricket as the Men in Blue edged past Sri Lanka by two runs in the first T20I at the Wankhede Stadium. 

However, a couple of days later, the visiting side survived an onslaught from Axar Patel to bounce back and level the series in Pune to set up an exciting decider in Rajkot on Saturday, January 7. 

There is a reason why Test cricket is regarded as the purest and the most exhilarating form of the game as the second Test between Pakistan, and New Zealand went all the way down to the wire with all three results possible in the last 30 minutes of play.

However, due to the fading lights in Karachi, the umpires decided to call off the play, with the Kiwis needing one wicket and the home team requiring 15 runs to get over the line. Sarfaraz Ahmed made a remarkable comeback to the side by scoring a sublime century in the fourth innings to deny New Zealand a famous win.

Miles away from Pakistan, in the land of the southern hemisphere, Australia and South Africa rekindled their rivalry in the New Year's Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. It was business as usual for the home team as Steven Smith smashed his 30th hundred and joined an elite list of cricketers to achieve this feat. 

While all the attention was on Smith, Usman Khawaja slowly crafted his way to an unbeaten 195 on the final session of Day Two. Well, rain at the iconic SCG is known to be notorious, and this game was no different as the third day was washed out due to relentless showers, and Australia declared their innings on 475, with the southpaw stranded. 

Indian women's U-19 team are off to a perfect start ahead of the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup as they defeated hosts South Africa 4-0 in a five-match series. Shweta Sherawat was the leading run-scorer in the tournament with 71 runs in four innings, while Falak Naz scalped four wickets in two outings and emerged as the leading wicket-taker. 

Franchise cricket

This week of the Big Bash League has been making the news for all the right reasons, as Adelaide Strikers recorded the highest-ever successful chase of 230 runs in the history of the league against the Hobart Hurricanes at home. 

Syndey Sixers and Perth Scorchers, the two of the most dominant sides in the extravaganza, are on top of the points table and look solid to yet again qualify fir the knockout stages of the competition. 

Earlier in the week, Michael Neser's acrobatic catch on the boundary ropes in Striker's game against the Syndey Sixers to dismiss Jordon Silk has divided the internet with calls made by the fans to have a change in the rule. 

Domestic cricket

One of the most prestigious tournaments in the history of Indian cricket, the Ranji Trophy, is back for the fourth round, with plenty of international stars donning their state jerseys. 

After making a comeback into the national side after 12 years, Jaydev Unadkat celebrated his return to the Saurashtra side by etching his name in the record books to become the only player to pick up a first-over hat-trick in the tournament. The left-arm seamer scalped eight wickets in the first innings to dismantle Delhi and record a thumping win by innings and 214 runs. 

Kedar Jadhav made a stunning comeback to first-class cricket after three years as he smashed a run-a-ball 283 runs for Maharashtra against Assam in their home game in Pune. His heroics in the first innings helped the team declare on 594, taking the first innings lead and getting vital three points. 

In the southern derby featuring Kerala and Goa at the KCA Stadium, the visiting side recorded a seven-wicket win courtesy of a sublime batting performance from Ishan Gadekar. The opening batter smashed a century in the first innings and followed it up with an unbeaten 67 to power Goa over the line in a 157-run chase. 

Who has been making the news?

One of the most awaited news for the fans of Indian cricket is finally here, as the BCCI have added Jasprit Bumrah to the squad for the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka. The pacer passed the mandatory fitness test at the National Cricket Academy and will join the squad ahead of their first game on January 10. The right-arm pacer has been out of action since September 2022 and missed the T20 World Cup Down Under due to a back injury. 

After suffering a horrific accident in the last week of December, Rishabh Pant has been airlifted to Mumbai for further treatment of his knee. In a press release by the BCCI, the board stated that the wicketkeeper will undergo surgery and will be under the constant observation of the medical team till he completes his rehabilitation. 

In the absence of Pant, Sanju Samson was touted to be one of the players to watch out for in the series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand that followed. 

The right-handed batter was dismissed for five in the first outing and injured himself while fielding in the second innings. The 28-year-old was ruled out of action from the series against Sri Lanka and has been replaced by Jitesh Sharma. 

Melbourne Stars captain Adam Zampa created a bit of a stir as he attempted to run out Tom Rogers at the non-striker’s end. With the decision referred to the third umpire, it was observed that Zampa had completed his bowling action when Rogers left the crease and ruled that not out.

Video of the Week

Articles in Focus

It’s hard to believe Yuzvendra Chahal and Harshal Patel are still part of India’s T20I set-up. After a debacle in Australia, India made quite a few changes in their squad for the three-match series against Sri Lanka. Hardik Worah helps you with a detailed analysis of why India need to look beyond Chahal and Harshal in the shortest format. 

In the second T20I, Axar Patel produced one of the most brutal innings with the bat en route to his 31-ball 65 to help India get inches closer to the target of 207 runs. The southpaw faces just nine balls, just nine balls in the entirety of the T20 World Cup in 2022, and Aakash Sivasubramaniam takes a look at his journey with the bat in the Indian side. 

We are halfway through the Big Bash League (BBL) 2022-23, and as we approach the business end of the season, the fight for a place in the finals is heating up. Here's Pramod Ananth's quick recap of what has transpired since the first week of the competition. 

As another exciting year ends, England’s approach to Tests was the most fascinating. But, in terms of wins across formats, India recorded the most wins, also they have played the most matches. Here's Anirudh Kasargod with a round-up of a few top stats from the last year across formats.

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