#Controversy Alert: Who Cares About Women’s Cricket Anyway?

#Controversy Alert: Who Cares About Women’s Cricket Anyway?

Controversy of the Day: Nobody cares about women’s cricket.

Women’s CricketCan’t Live With It, Can Definitely Live Without It.

At least that is the attitude of cricket administration and media around the world.

Today news came in that the BCCI finally decided to organize women’s matches, simultaneously with the men’s Vijay Hazare Trophy & the Vinoo Mankad U-19 Trophy. After the 4 match Women’s T20 Challenge, there is something to look forward to for the Indian Women team.

Is it enough, though? How are all the other women international teams faring during this time? Why did we get here? Could more have been done over the last year?

So many questions…Don’t worry, I got you.

Post-COVID statistics between Women’s Vs Men’s cricket, looking ahead to 2021, facts about the women’s game we should all know as cricket fans, and the way forward for women’s cricket. 

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.

Also Read: What Can Ellyse Perry Not Do?, What If Indian Women Won the 2017 ICC Cricket World Cup?

Rise of Women’s Cricket

March 8th, 2020—the peak for Women’s Cricket at the World T20 World Cup Final between Australia & India.

86, 174 spectators.

Following the monumental 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup, women’s cricket began moving in a positive direction. Casual cricket fans began to take notice, fan following increased for the likes of Ellyse Perry, Meg Lanning, & Smriti Mandhana, and representation in broadcasting expanded with Lisa Sthalekar, Isa Guha, & Ebony Rainford-Brent among others. Investment rose with the Women Big Bash League (WBBL), Kia Super League, & even the Women’s T20 Challenge. The highly anticipated experiment, The Hundred, was scheduled simultaneously with the men’s version for last summer.

The rise continued & on the auspicious International Women’s Day, the record number of spectators at the Women’s 2020 T20 World Cup confirmed Mithali Raj’s statement, “Truly I believe women’s cricket has come in the mainstream now.”

Momentum Halts For Women’s Cricket

March 8th, 2020—also the last time since India Women took field.

None. Zero. Nada.

It has been almost 11 months without any international cricket, domestic competition, or even a national training camp. Meanwhile, Indian men have played a 60-match IPL, & toured Australia from November-January for a 3-T20I, 3 ODI, and 4 classic Test matches. India women’s 3 match ODI tour of Australia scheduled in January? Cancelled due to coronavirus at the end of December. Explain that…

The momentum has truly been halted. Not only India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh women have not had much cricket either (although training camp has started for Bangladesh). Even the inaugural edition of the Hundred was postponed.

The second edition of men’s Indian Premier League post-COVID is about to begin in a couple of months and a 10-team IPL is rumored in 2022. On the other hand, after the gigantic leap from 1 match in 2018 to 4 matches in 2019, the Women T20 Challenge did not expand in 2020. And guess what? Those who participated in the Challenge were robbed of the opportunity to play WBBL due to bio-bubble regulations.

The biggest casualty, though was the earlier scheduled 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup.

Starting next week, from February 6th-March 7th, New Zealand was supposed to host World Cup. YES, New Zealand, the country best placed to host an international event in these circumstances. Yet, in August the ICC postponed it due to ‘disparity in level of preparedness’ between the different countries.

Men’s Vs Women’s Cricket: Post-Covid Statistics

Thanks to the ECB and their bio-secured bubble protocols, cricket started back with the England-West Indies Test Series. Since then, both men’s & women’s cricket restarted, but here is a table that shows the disparity of the amount of games played.

Since July, the men have had a maximum possible 128 days of international cricket scheduled (5 days maximum per test) as opposed to just 16 days for the women (5 of which were Austria Vs Germany T20I). Across formats & countries, men have clocked in 540 matches, while women have played a mere 144 matches.

Men’s CricketWomen’s Cricket
International Matches Played (June 2020-January 2021)56 matches
(18 Tests, 17 ODIs, 21 T20Is)
*excludes 16 matches
16 matches
(0 Tests, 3 ODIs, 13 T20Is)
*including Austria-Germany 5 T20Is
T10 & T20 Leagues Played Around the World 206 matches
(CPL, IPL, SLPL, BBL, T10 League)
63 matches
(Women’s T20 Challenge, BBL)
Domestic Cricket 278 matches
(Syed Mustaq Ali, Vitality Blast, Super Smash NZ, Bob Willis Trophy)
65 matches
(Ireland Super50, Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy, Super Smash NZ)
International Scheduled Matches For 2021 (So Far)96 matches
(24 T20Is, 12 ODIs, 15 Tests including WTC Final + 45 match 2021 T20 World Cup)
18 matches
(9 ODIs, 9 T20Is)
Total Matches (Mar 2020-2021)
*excluding T20/Domestic Leagues for 2021
636 matches162 matches
Post-Covid Men’s & Women’s Cricket Summary

*Table does not include the 3 Eng-SA & the 2 Ire-UAE ODIs that were cancelled due to COVID.

Series Summary

Here are the details of the various series, leagues, & domestic tournaments played over the last year.

*Australia (Aus), New Zealand (NZ), India (Ind), England (Eng), Sri Lanka (SL), South Africa (SA), Pakistan (Pak), West Indies (WI), Bangladesh (Ban), Zimbabwe (Zim), Ireland (Ire), & Afghanistan (Afg).

International Matches Played (June 2020-January 2021)

Men’s
  • WI tour Eng (3 Tests), Pak tour Eng (3 Tests, 3 T20I), Ire tour Eng (3 ODIs), Aus tour Eng (3 T20Is, 3 ODIs)
  • Zim tour Pak (3 ODI, 3 T20I), Ire tour UAE (4 ODIs – 2 cancelled), Ire Vs Afg (3 ODI)
  • Eng tour SA (3 T20I, ODIs abandoned), SL tour SA (2 Tests), Eng tour SL (2 Tests)
  • WI tour NZ (3 T20I, 2 Tests), Pak tour NZ (3 T20I, 2 Tests)
  • Ind tour Aus (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is, 4 Tests)

*Excludes 16 games played by Guersney, Isle of Man, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Belgium, Bulgaria, Malta, Romania

Women’s
  • Austria tour Germany (5 T20I)
  • WI tour England (5 T20I)
  • NZ tour Aus (3 ODI, 3 T20I)

T10 & T20 Leagues Played Around the World

  • Men: Caribbean Premier League (33 matches), Indian Premier League (60), Sri Lanka Premier League (23), Big Bash League (61), T10 League (29)
  • Women: WBBL (59 matches), IPL Exhibition games (4)

Domestic Cricket

  • Men: Bob Willis Trophy (Eng – 46 matches), 2020 T20 Vitality Blast (Eng – 97), 32 Super Smash (NZ – 32), Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy (India – 103)
  • Women: Super50 Cricket Series (Ire – 8 matches), Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy (Eng – 25)

Schedule Lookout for 2021

Well if you thought 2020 was bad, 2021’s schedule does not seem like a drastic improvement either. Sure, just like the Vijay Hazare & Vinoo Mankad, more matches may be scheduled later, but the number of planned games in 2021 tells you the story.

Women’s Cricket 2021 Schedule

According to the ICC Fixtures for the next year, Women’s cricket looks as follows:

  1. Pak tour SA (3 ODI, 3 T20I): Jan 20-Feb 3 (Ongoing)
  2. Eng tour NZ (3 ODI, 3 T20I): Feb 23-Mar 5
  3. Aus tour NZ (3 ODI, 3 T20I): Mar 27-Apr 10

After this, the next scheduled international fixture is the postponed 2022 Women’s World Cup that begins on March 4th, 2022. Domestically, apart from women’s edition of Vijay Hazare & Vinoo Mankad U-19, Australia National Cricket League (28 matches) has been announced, with The Hundred, Women Big Bash League, & Women’s T20 Challenge possibly returning for 2021.

Men’s Cricket Schedule 2021

While international women’s cricket as a whole has only been scheduled 18 limited overs matches in 2021, the Men’s England Test team alone are slotted 17 Test Matches (18 if they reach the WTC final), apart from the T20 World Cup & other bilateral series.

Currently, WI tour of Ban (3 ODI, 2 Tests) & SA tour of Pak (2 Tests, 3 T20Is) are ongoing, with the England tour of India (4 Tests, 5 T20I, 3 ODI), IPL 2021 (60 matches), & The Hundred on the horizon.

  • 51 matches planned in 2021 (24 T20Is, 12 ODIs, 15 Tests including WTC Final)
  • 45 match ICC Men’s T20I World Cup October-November (in India)

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Did You Know?

Who was the first cricketer to score a double century in ODI? Umm..Sachin Tendulkar 200* Vs South Africa in 2010, right? Wrong. It was actually Belinda Clark’s 229* in the 1997 Women’s Cricket World Cup.

The real question is, do we ourselves pay enough attention to Women’s Cricket or just hypocritically vouch for the women’s game?

We all know about Tendulkar’s 100 100s, Bradman’s 99.94, Muralitharan’s 800, Sharma’s 264. For our collective cultural enhancement, here is a short list of statistics and facts we should all know about Women’s Cricket.

Numbers & Facts in Women’s Cricket We Should All Know

*Note, this stats are divided by format: Test | ODI | T20I .

Batting

  • Most Runs: 1935 – Jan Brittin (Eng) | 6,888 – Mithali Raj (Ind) | 3301 – Suzie Bates (NZ)
  • Highest Score: 242 – Kiran Baluch (Pak) | 232* – Amelia Kerr (NZ) | 148* – Alyssa Healy (Aus)
  • Most 100s/50+: 5 (100s)/16 (50+) – Jan Brittin (Eng), 14 (100s) – Meg Lanning (Aus)/ 60 (50+) – Mithali Raj (Ind) | 22 (50+) Suzie Bates (NZ) (several players with 2 T20I centuries)
  • Highest Partnership: 309 – Lindsay Reeler & Denise Annets (Aus) | 320 – Deepti Sharma & Poonam Raut (Ind) | 257 Yulia Anggraeni & Kadek Winda Prastini (Indonesia)

Bowling

  • Most Wickets: 77 – Mary Duggan (Eng) | 225 – Jhulan Goswami (Ind) | 120 – Anisa Mohammed (WI)
  • Best Figures Innings: 8/53 – Neetu David (Ind) | 7/4 – Sajjida Shah (Pak) | 6/0 – Anjali Chand (Nepal)
  • Most 5-fers: 5 – Shubhangi Kulkarni (Ind) | 6 -Anisa Mohammed (WI) | 7 (4-fers+) – Anisa Mohammed (WI)
  • Best Figures Match/ Most 10-fers (Tests): 13/226 – Shaiza Khan (Pak) / 2 10-fers – Betty Wilson (Aus)

Wicket-Keeping/Fielding

  • Most Catches (Fielding): 25 – Carole Hodges (Eng) | 67 – Suzie Bates (NZ) | 64 – Suzie Bates (NZ)
  • Most Dismissals (Keeper): 58 – Christina Matthews (Aus) | 160 – Trisha Chetty (SA) | 93 – Alyssa Healy (Aus)

Teams

  • Highest Team Total: 569/6 declared Aus (vs Eng) | 491/5 NZ (Vs Ire) | 314/2 Uganda (Vs Mali)
  • World Cups: ODIs – Aus (6 times), Eng (4), NZ (1) | T20Is – Aus (5 times), Eng (1), WI (1)

A Way Forward

Australia, England, & New Zealand are historically the most successful women cricket teams and rightly so. They have invested in women’s cricket for decades & are broadening the recruitment of young girls in cricket. Other countries lag behind in the recruitment, infrastructure, & investment.

In the COVID era, the template provided by NZ’s Super Smash, India’s Vijay Hazare, & England’s Hundred should become common. The corresponding matches for the same teams should be played on the same day for both the men & women respectively. This may help out with spectators & TV revenues as well.

This is definitely possible for domestic competitions & T20 leagues, but should even be considered for international tours as well, at least for the limited overs leg.

These are just some limited thoughts, but there are limitless ideas to promote women’s cricket if enough focus is given to this part of the sport.

Supply & Demand

More needs to be done for Women’s Cricket in current times. If this break continues longer, experienced players will start to retire, budding youngsters might not receive opportunity (and hence, may leave the sport altogether), and the compounding loss of revenue will hurt women’s cricket for generations to come.

If the ICC and national boards do not ramp up support in 2021, as Anjum Chopra called it, Women’s Cricket will remain just as an ‘add on’ feature, and nothing more. Who knows, instead of waiting for their next opportunity, the likes of Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami should just retire now, join administration, take matters in their own hands, fix women’s cricket administration, un-retire and play.

Women Cricket’s current status can be summarized with the saying, “If you are not at table, you are on the menu.”

Hope Remains

Although the coronavirus break as halted the momentum, hope remains. With the T20 international status open to several countries now, smaller nations like Thailand & Nepal have taken large strides. With role models like Ellyse Perry & Sophie Devine (see below), more girls have taken up the sport seriously.

Finally, us fans can themselves can help in the resurgence of momentum. The entire game is about supply & demand. Men’s cricket & the IPL generates a lot of revenue. Hence, T20 cricket remains essential at possibly the expense of Test cricket. Similarly, women’s cricket is less profitable and hence, gets less support. So, we should demand more women’s cricket and encourage girls to take the sport up.

Fans need to get involved. Bloggers (including me) should write more on women’s cricket. You should tweet more on women’s cricket. Watch lots of videos, look up more stats, & make women’s cricket viral. Get the media involved. Slowly & steadily, women’s cricket administration will take notice & invest more.

Anyway, I will leave you all with a classy Sophie Devine, who recently scored the fastest T20 century in women’s cricket (36 balls), but her sportsmanship & humanity was the highlight.

So there you go. Lots of controversy, with a tinge of hope.

Copyright (2021: 1/30/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Embed from Getty Images

Image Courtesy: Bahnfrend, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons, Getty Images

Sources: ICC Results (Women) ICC Results (Men), ICC Fixtures 2021 (Women), ICC Fixtures 2021 (Men)

Joe Root Vs Lasith Embuldeniya 2020 Series Review: Oops, I Meant England Vs Sri Lanka

Joe Root Vs Lasith Embuldeniya 2020 Series Review: Oops, I Meant England Vs Sri Lanka

Joe Root Vs Lasith Embuldeniya. That’s it, that’s the end of the series review….

Just Kidding, but boy it felt like Root vs Embuldeniya, didn’t it? At one point in the 2nd Test, Embuldeniya was hitting sixes and the golden arm of Joe Root was called upon to take his wicket and clean up the tail.

Yet, this short two-Test series had several other actors and memorable moments. The 2-0 score line may not have been close, but the contest was enthralling, nevertheless.

Broad’s initial burst, Bess’s uncanny wicket taking ability, Dan Lawrence’s dazzling debut, Niroshan Dickwella’s high-five face slap, Leach and Embuldeniya’s brilliance, Sibley and Thirimanne’s revival, Dickwella’s sledging, Bairstow and Buttler’s solidity, Mathews and Root’s centuries, Dickwella’s 92, and of course, Jimmy Anderson being well…Jimmy Anderson (in Asia).

Read till the end for my picks for the best moments, emerging players, lookout for the India Vs England series, and much more! COMMENT BELOW ON YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS.

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.

Also Read: England Vs Sri Lanka Preview, SA Vs SL Review, South Africans Who Played For Other Countries

Results – England Vs Sri Lanka

Test Series: England Win 2 – 0

* Player of Match

  1. England won by 7 wickets *Joe Root
  2. England won by 6 wickets *Joe Root
Player of SeriesEngland
Joe Root
2-100s, best of 228
Sri Lanka
Most RunsJoe Root – 426 runs (4 innings)Angelo Mathews – 213 runs (4 innings)
Most WicketsDom Bess – 12 wickets (4 innings)Lasith Embuldeniya – 15 wickets (4 innings)
Test Series Stats

The Highlights

England

1. Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler: Critics Go Out The Window

Joe Root just does not like scoring 100s. Either 50s or daddy hundreds.

Do you all remember a few weeks ago in the India Vs Australia series, the commentators were discussing about the Big 3? That seems ages ago. In the preview article, I argued that

“Root is still a stellar player with an amazing record. The fact that England do not seem to need him as much as the other countries is a reflection of the strength of this English team, not the fall of a rising career. I hope he answers his critics with the bat.

186, 228, 2/0, and 7 catches later, Joe Root has answered his critics in some style. He has gone from being criticized for his poor conversion-rate to becoming England’s #4 all time tally, surpassing Boycott, Pietersen, and Gower on the way (Suddenly, predictions of catching Tendulkar’s Test runs have opened since he is only 30).

2. The Rest of the Batting

  • Crawley had a horrid tour with the bat (4 innings, 35 runs at 8.75), Sibley with 62 runs in his 4 (including a 56* in his last innings), and Sam Curran at 7 a spot too high (2 innings, 13 runs at 6.5).
  • Bairstow (4 innings, 139 at 46.33) and Buttler (3 innings, 131 at 65.5) fared much better, while Dan Lawrence had little to show after his sparkling 73 on debut.

Bairstow at 3 again? Yes he is a good player of spin, but does he warrant a position in the squad? Several questions were asked pre-series.

With the struggles of Crawley and Sibley, Bairstow did a good repair job with 47 (93), 35* (65), 28 (73), 29 (28). A makeshift English #3 batsmen on foreign soil, successfully denting the new ball without converting it…Where I have I heard this before? Bairstow’s tour was so…Denly-esque.

3. Youth & Senior Pros Combine to Bamboozle Sri Lanka

  • Stuart Broad (3/34 at 11.33) & James Anderson (6/46 at 7.66): No Sign of Aging
  • Dom Bess (12/255 at 21.25) & Jack Leach (10/355 at 35.5): Here To Stay?

Stuart Broad’s resurgence in the past year or so has been heartening, and Anderson’s fitness just becomes better with age. Anderson’s home swing advantage has always clouded his greatness and longevity, but his 6/40 at Galle in the 2nd Test was as good as any.

Dom Bess himself admitted his bowling may not have deserved a 5-fer in the 1st Test. Maybe once or twice, you can call it a fluke but 5/30, 3/100, 4/49 along with a handy 32 with the bat shows he is willing to learn & improve his skills. Jack Leach’s numbers probably do not reflect his 110.5 overs worth of effort, but both of them are here to stay.

It is pretty clear that England are going to rotate Broad/Anderson, pick Mark Wood (tad unlucky this time around) for pace, and play both spinners for the upcoming India series (given Moeen Ali does not come back for Sam Curran).

Sri Lanka

1. Thirimanne & Angelo Matthews

Lahiru Thirimanne was our contender for the Broken Dream in our preview. Just look at his stats:

  • Average of 22.68 after 36 Tests, 1 century after a decade on the international scene

He came back with a solid 111 and 43 in this series, and has ‘extended’ his place in the side. Will take a few more consistent performances to cement his place. I was also looking forward to a Chandimal-Thirimanne-Mathews solid middle order foundation. Chandimal had a Bairstow-like with a 52 and a couple of 20s, while Mathews was Sri Lanka’s most run-getter including a hard-fought 71 and 110.

  • 88 Tests, 6194 runs at 45.54, with 11 100s, best of 200* Mathews is slowly approaching Sri Lanka’s Legend Status.

2. Inconsistency Kills The Cat

  • Mathews – 213, Thirimanne 171, Dickwella 140, Chandimal 109, Kusal Perera 102
  • (SL Vs SA): 396 & 180, 157 & 211, (SL vs Eng): 381 & 126, 135 & 359

Notice a pattern yet? For England, Root scored a mammoth 426 with Bairstow-Buttler scoring 139 & 131 runs respectively. Sri Lanka had 5 scorers over 100 & Mathews/Thirimanne did convert, but there were just not enough match winning partnerships. Partnerships are the key to success. As we can see from the beginning of the South Africa tour, Sri Lanka have scored 350+ 3/8 times, but they have also collapsed 4/8 times.

Sri Lanka were not bad, but inconsistency in the other innings killed any chance they had.

Here is Kumar Sangakkara’s reflection of Sri Lanka’s batting meltdowns.

3. Embuldeniya

  • 4 innings, 119 overs, 15/415 at 27.66, best of 7/37, 1 5-fer, 1 10-fer

The reason why batting inconsistency hurt more this time around is because with Lasith Embuldeniya, Sri Lanka actually believed they could win.

In the first match, chasing a mere 74, England were down 14/3. Embuldeniya made it look like a landmine, but just there were just not enough runs on the board. He bowled tireless spells, opened the bowling, and even hit an aggressive 40 (37) in the 2nd Test to take the score from 78-8 to 126.

The name, the action, the wicket taking ability – have Sri Lanka finally found someone to carry the legacy of Muralitharan and Rangana Herath? Only time will tell.

Also Read: Charisma of Sam Curran, Lasith Malinga: The Slinga, Slayer, & Superstar

Marks Out of 10: The Mendis Factor

(Not really. Let’s have some fun!)

  • 4 – Ducks in a Row for Kusal Mendis (including SA series). His replacement, Ramesh Mendis, carried on the tradition and opened his account with a duck as well.
  • 6 – Wins In a row for England in Sri Lanka. Huge accomplishment – Kudos! It is never easy to tour Sri Lanka at home and consistent results bode well. Oh yes. And England won without the likes of Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, and opener Rory Burns.
  • 8 – Short of a maiden hundred for Niroshan Dickwella. So close, yet so far.
  • 13 – Wickets Away from Anil Kumble’s 619 for the 3rd highest wicket-taker EVER for Jimmy Anderson. GOAT.

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

Sri LankaEngland
Emerging PlayerLasith EmbuldeniyaJoe Root’s Super Conversion Rate & Dan Lawrence
Surprise PackageEmbuldeniya (Batting/Bowling/Everything) & Dickwella’s sledgingDom Bess’s 5-for & wicket-taking ability
Broken Cricket DreamKusal Mendis Zak Crawley

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

Where Do They Go From Here?

Sri Lanka’s 2021 outlook looks filled. They will complete some of the WTC matches that were cancelled in 2020. They will host/tour Bangladesh, go to West Indies, & host Ireland for a Test match as well. Second part of the year will be focused on the T20I World Cup.

Busy Year for England this. 17 Test Matches on the cards (Maybe more if they qualify for World Test Championship Final). Next Up – India. 4 Tests, 5 ODIs, 3 T20Is from February 4th to March 27th (Add IPL, the Hundred, & World T20 World Cup in the mix as well). The series is key to the WTC finals. England currently at 4th but slowly inching up (Just 3% separates #4 England from #1 India).

Several questions on England vs India TV rights and squad selections as well. Bairstow, Curran, Wood rested for the first couple of Test matches, while Buttler flies home after the 1st one.

With India surprising expectations in Australia, will we see a similar triumph for England against favorites India?

Where do Sri Lankan cricket go from here? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Copyright (2021: 1/13/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Image Courtesy: Jimmy AndersonNAPARAZZI, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

India Vs Australia Series Review 2020-21: The Greatest Story of Them All? Better Than Ashes 2005?

India Vs Australia Series Review 2020-21: The Greatest Story of Them All? Better Than Ashes 2005?

India Vs Australia Series Review: The Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Usually a Test series is made up of a few iconic moments. This series was a compilation of iconic moments stitched together into a series.

  • Injuries: PucovskiWarner & Ishant-Bhuvneshwar Kumar pre-series. Shami, Umesh, Ashwin, Vihari, Jadeja, Bumrah, KL Rahul, & Pucovski again during the series.
  • Adelaide: Kohli‘s 74 & Run-Out, India 36/9 via Cummins & Hazlewood, Paine & Burn score, Kohli returns home.
  • Melbourne: India’s resilient comeback win, Rahane’s magnificent ton, Ashwin-Smith duel, Rahane comforts Jadeja after run-out.
  • Sydney: Rohit Sharma returns to work, Shubman Gill’s emergence, Smith-Labuschagne master-student showcase, Siraj battles racial abuse, Matthew Wade’s brain fades, Paine drops & sledges, India hold on, Pant 97, Pujara-Pant + Vihari-Ashwin = Draw.
  • Brisbane: Nathan Lyon’s 100th Test & signed jersey by Team India, stranded on 399 wickets, Natarajan & Sundar debut, Saini injured, Siraj’s 5-for, Thakur-Sundar fightback, Gill’s 91 & Pant’s 89*, Pujara Fights Body Blows & Butterfly, 328 chased, The Gabba fortress breached.

The series went from being “too friendly” to racial abuses. There were plenty of mini contests like Paine vs Ashwin, Pujara vs Lyon, fielders vs the flying ball, & Pujara vs Cummins (my favorite battle) to name a few.

Here are my picks for the best moments, emerging players, and much more in this India Vs Australia Series Review! Comment IN THE COMMENTS SECTION below on your favorite moments.

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.

Also Read: Top 10 Life Lessons from the Ind-Aus Series, Ind-Aus Test Series Preview, Prediction Results

Results – India Vs Australia

Test Series: India won 2-1

* Player of Match

  1. Australia won by 8 wickets *Tim Paine (Toss: India elected to bat)
  2. India won by 8 wickets *Ajinkya Rahane (Toss: Australia elected to bat)
  3. Match Drawn *Steven Smith (Toss: Australia elected to bat)
  4. India won by 3 wickets *Rishabh Pant (Toss: Australia elected to bat)

Interesting that toss went the wrong way in these games and batting second was not detrimental.

Player of SeriesIndia Australia
Pat Cummins
4/21 Best Innings, 7/69 Best Match
Most RunsRishabh Pant – 274 Runs (5 innings)


Cheteshwar Pujara – 271 Runs (8 innings)
Marnus Labuschagne – 426 runs (8 innings)

Steven Smith – 313 runs (8 innings)
Most WicketsMohammad Siraj – 13 wickets (6 innings)

Ravinchandran Ashwin – 12 wickets (6 innings)
Pat Cummins – 21 Wickets (8 innings)

Josh Hazlewood – 17 Wickets (8 innings)
India Vs Australia Series Review: Stats

The Highlights

India

1. Cheteshwar Pujara is a Legend.

  • 2018/19 – 521 runs, 100s-3 & 50s-1, best of 193, Average 74.42, Strike Rate 41.41, Balls Faced 1258
  • 2020/21 – 271 runs, 100s-0 & 50s-3, best of 77, Average 33.87, Strike Rate 29.20, Balls Faced 928

Statistically, Pujara had a worse tour than 2018 by double the margin in almost every area. In reality? His impact this time was just as important, if not more. If Pujara was not present at Sydney or Brisbane, neither would have drawn the 3rd Test nor won the 4th. The Australian bowling line up at the final session of 4th Test had all the energy drawn out of them through the defense of Pujara. On the last day, Pujara was unfazed despite so many blows to the helmet, chest, and the worst – finger jarring. Act of character and survival upon which India prospered.

2. Youngsters & India A Deliver

  • In 2008, Sri Lanka unveiled the M Factor against India – Malinga, Muralitharan, Mahela, & Mendis (later Mathews).
  • Similarly, India had the S factor – Debutants Siraj, Sundar, Shubman, Shardul (first Test – 10 balls & injured).

Shubman Gill’s consistency & backfoot punches, Washington Sundar’s confidence, Siraj’s maturity, & Shardul’s ability to make things happen all contributed to India’s series victory. If one player could symbolize this series, it is Mohammad Siraj, leading from the front in his 3rd Test match. Father’s bereavement and on the back of racial abuse, he stood firm on his ground and delivered.

January 11th is Rahul Dravid’s birthday, India A & India U-19 Coach (2016-19), now the head of the National Cricket Academy, and a mentor to many of these youngsters. Rishabh Pant & Vihari, a product of the India A system, provided Dravid with a perfect birthday gift on the eve of his birthday. Pant will always be questioned, but when India needed him, he delivered.

3. Rahane & Team Management

  • In our India vs Australia preview, we said that after 2014, “Rahane has failed to go to the next level,” & needs a “Pujara 2018 or Laxman 281 to elevate to legendary status.”

Verdict: Rahane has now successfully elevated himself to legendary status – as a batsman, player, & captain.

Although Rahane’s Melbourne knock rejuvenated the side, special mention needs to go to Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, the physios, & the support staff. In hindsight, the 36/9 rejuvenated the side, but it could easily have gone the 2011 England-Australia tours with 4-0. Credit to the team management & leadership group to keep the team together and motivated (The law of averages helped India as chances for the rest of the series went India’s way).

With all the Rahane vs Virat vs Rohit Twitter battles, one should remember that this is Kohli’s team (emphasis on fast bowlers & overseas victories) which Rahane took forward with Rohit & co in the leadership group. Team effort, no less.

Australia

1. Labuschagne, Smith, & Warner

  • 739 runs, 100s-2, 50s-4, best of 131, average of 49.27.

Sounds pretty good, right? This is the combined stats of Marnus Labuschagne & Steven Smith and vastly skewed by the performance in the last two matches. They were good, but not the usual. Smith lost the duel to R Ashwin over the series, while Labuschagne capitalized on dropped chances. For a side carrying injured openers, a Joe Burn, and a couple of inconsistent keepers, a lot more was expected from these two.

David Warner was visibly unfit, & 67 runs (from which 48 came in one innings) at 16.75 does not reflect a player of his caliber. Against Warner, every bowler looked like Stuart Broad.

Usman Khawaja & Shaun Marsh, anybody?

2. The Fall of Nathan Lyon & Mitchell Starc?

  • Starc took 11 wickets at 40.72 (74.7 SR) & Lyon with 9 wickets at 55.11 (SR: A whopping 124.6)

Alarming numbers. Lyon looked decent for the first couple of Test matches without much ‘luck,’ especially with Hazlewood & Cummins going through the Indian line-up. As the series progressed, it became clear that Lyon was having an underwhelming series. Pujara’s dancing down the wicket blocks & Pant’s hit was too much to digest. Starc? Inconsistent, out of form, & slightly injured. Amidst a long tour, COVID Bio-Bubbles, and against a certain Pujara, not rotating quicks cost Australia.

Speaking of inconsistent keepers, Tim Paine & Matthew Wade: A Tale of Two Careers.

  • 8, 33, 30, 40, 13, 4, 45, 0, and a whole load of ways of getting out

Look, I like Wade & Paine. Paine even had a great series with the bat, including a match-winning 72. I admire players who started early, were dropped, improved, & fought back into the XI. These two have been in-and-out since 2010-11 & have finally managed some success at the international level, but is it enough? One of Australia’s flaws this series was not capitalizing on strong situations, and Wade was always at the center. Not converting a single start might be too much for the Australian selectors. On the other hand, Paine will still be in the side at least as a batsman, but lots of question on his keeping and captaincy. Also, Tim & his Paineful reviews.

Murmurs about Alex Carey trying a summer England gig after being released from Delhi Capitals…

3. The Lone Bright Spots

Not everything was bad for Australia though.

  • 8 innings, 162.1 overs, 51 maidens, 21 wickets, 4/21 Best innings & 7/69 Best match

That’s Pat Cummins for you. Most overs bowled. Highest wicket taker. Most maidens. Player of the Series. Consistently threatened India’s batting from the first Test to the last. Intensity, eyes on fire, perfect line & length. Hazlewood was really good too, but Cummins was just on another level.

Debutants Cameron Green & Will Pucovski were of the highest quality. Although Green did not have much to show in the wickets column (none after 6 matches & 44 overs), he ticked several boxes. A tall bowler at 140 kph, safe pair of hands with 10 feet reach, can dig in when needed, and explode as his blistering 84 displayed. Pucovski never looked out of place with a confident 62, sandwiched between unfortunate injuries.

The Awards

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series.

The 4th Test overshadowed the Broken Cricket Dream awards for Australia, otherwise Joe Burns falling career, Pucovski’s repeated injuries, & Wade’s dismissals were ideal candidates. Here they are:

India Australia
Emerging PlayerShubman Gill & Mohammad SirajCameron Green
Surprise PackageIndia’s Resilience & Character
Sundar, Shardul, Siraj
Tim Paine – The Batsman
Marnus Labuschagne – The outfielder
Broken Cricket DreamThe Injuries
The Dropped Catches
Kuldeep Yadav
Tim Paine – The Captain
Tim Paine – The Keeper
Nathan Lyon 399*
India Vs Australia Series Review: The Awards

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

Where Do They Go From Here?

In terms of the World Test Championship, India are at the top with the England home series to go, while Australia drop to #3 with a South Africa 3-match series to happen…somewhere (Australia virtually out of the WTC).

The India-Australia rivalry has taken the next step and few are even calling for a 5 match series. I am not sure if that should happen in the COVID environment and strict quarantine days, but definitely a possibility in the future.

Ashes 2005 Comparsion

Is the 2020-21 India vs Australia series the greatest test victory of all time? Probably not.

Ashes 2005 is usually hailed as the pinnacle of Test cricket extravaganza and rightly so. Both teams at their peaks, Australia’s 2005 meriting Top 2 All Time status (a squad which maybe only Steve Smith & Pat Cummins could have made), full crowds inspiring the next generation, England winning the Ashes (2-1) for the first times since 1986-87.

  • Was India’s Melbourne victory the greatest comeback of all time as the cricket Twitter family suggested at the time? No. Not even close.
  • Was India’s draw the greatest match saving draw of all time? Nope.
  • Was India’s chase at the Gabba the highest ever or the most enthralling? Nah.
  • The 36 All Out worst collapse of all time? Almost, but not really.

Legacy of the India Vs Australia 2020 Series

But the fact that all of the above happened in the same series under the backdrop of COVID-19 and depression around the world (both economically & mentally speaking).

India 36/9 at Adelaide, Kohli going home, Ishant-Umesh-Bhuvi-Shami-Bumrah less India, without the stars of Sydney in Jadeja, Ashwin, & Vihari, Siraj battling father’s bereavement & racial abuse. Gabbatoir breached. You cannot predict this. None of us could have.

So let me ask this again—Was the 2020-21 India-Australia the greatest ever Test series? No, but in terms of the context and stories, this may as well be the greatest story of them all.

Why compare anyway? I am just glad we have both series to cherish in our memories forever.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this India Vs Australia Series Review? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! Also feel free to share/discuss on our Twitter & Facebook pages!

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Copyright (2021: 1/12/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

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Cricket 2020 Predictions: How Do You Predict The Unpredictable?

Cricket 2020 Predictions: How Do You Predict The Unpredictable?

Cricket 2020 Predictions – India Vs Australia. New Zealand Vs West Indies, England Vs South Africa.

These three series started almost simultaneously on November 27th and has finally come to an end on January 19th. From Dawid Malan and Hardik Pandya T20 special to the Williamson-Nicholls show, abandoned ODI series, and the culminating India Vs Australia Test Series, this past two months have been full of ebbs and flows.

Also lots of lack of sleep. Watching multiple matches of cricket across time zones. By the end one thing was for sure,

How does one predict the unpredictable?

Also Read: Life Lessons from India Vs Australia, Pre-IPL prediction, Post-IPL prediction results, USA Cricket

Cricket 2020 Predictions

This time we did a #SeriesPredictions with #IndvAus (3 ODI, 3 T20I, 4 Tests), #NZvWI (3 T20I, 2 Tests), & #EngvSA (3 T20I, 3 ODI – Abandoned) and asked our followers for the following categories:

  • #Scoreline
  • #MVP
  • #MostRuns
  • #MostWickets
  • #EmergingPlayer
  • #SurprisePackage

Read till the end for poll results, winners, and your prediction summaries!

Observations

Before we start with the results, here are some of the common pre-series prediction observations.

Common Incorrect Predictions

  • Quinton de Kock did not score as many runs as people expected in the EngvSA T20I series
  • Colin de Grandhomme got injured before the series
  • At least 1 win for the West Indies in T20I was expected, but they lost 3-0 in the T20I
  • Nobody picked Dawid Malan as the MVP for Eng-SA T20I series? Definitely the best T20I batsman in recent times

Common Correct Predictions

  • On the other hand, NZ-WI Test 2-0 was almost unanimous
  • Pat Cummins among the wickets
  • Green/Pucovski Emerging Player

Series Awards

New Zealand Vs West Indies

Here is the NZ vs WI Series Review with detailed analysis and stats.

Scoreline: 2-0 (T20I), 2-0 (Tests)New ZealandWest Indies
MVP (Tests)Kyle Jamieson
Most Runs (Tests)Kane WilliamsonJermaine Blackwood
Most Wickets (Tests)Tim SoutheeShannon Gabriel
Emerging PlayerDevon ConwayJoshua De Silva
Surprise PackageKyle JamiesonJermaine Blackwood
Broken DreamRoss TaylorRoston Chase
Cricket 2020 Predictions Results: NZ Vs WI

England Vs South Africa

Eng vs SA Series Review

Scoreline: 3-0 (T20I), Abandoned(ODI)South AfricaEngland
MVPDawid Malan
Most Runs Russie Van der DussenDawid Malan
Most Wickets Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi NgidiSam Curran, Chris Jordan
Emerging PlayerGeorge LindeDressing Room Coded Signals
Surprise PackageGeorge LindeJonny Bairstow (in the middle order)
Broken Dream3rd Seamer: B. Hendricks, Ngidi, Sipamla Jason Roy, Moeen Ali
Cricket 2020 Predictions Results: SA Vs Eng

India Vs Australia

Ind Vs Aus Limited Overs Review, Ind Vs Aus Test Review

Scoreline: 2-1 (ODI), 1-2 (T20I), 1-2 (Tests)AustraliaIndia
MVP (Tests)Pat CumminsTeam Effort
Most Runs (Tests)Marnus LabuschagneRishabh Pant
Most Wickets (Tests)Pat CumminsMohammad Siraj
Emerging PlayerCameron GreenShubman Gill
Surprise PackageIndia’s Resilience & Character
Sundar, Shardul, Siraj
Tim Paine, the Batsman
Broken DreamKuldeep Yadav (No Game)Lyon 399*
Cricket 2020 Predictions Results: Aus Vs Ind

*Note: Some of the subjective Emerging Players/Surprise Package came from Twitter Polls.

My Prediction Results

If I were to give myself an award for the India vs Australia series, it would be the 2nd best guess. For the limited overs, I had the 2-1 & 1-2 correct but in the reverse order for the ODI & T20I series respectively.

Similarly, I picked the second best players of the series. Hazlewood took 2nd most wickets, Rahane tapered off at the end, and although Vihari & Labuschagne played crucial roles for their teams, they were not the most valuable players. R Ashwin was definitely a surprise all-round package, but Siraj-Sundar-Shardul in the 4th Test was even more surprising.

For the Eng-SA, I had 3-0 for sure, but in favor of South Africa. Oh how hopeful and naive. 😅

*If Most runs/wickets/MVP of either side is stated, then points will be given. For Emerging Player, either Shubman Gill, Will Pucovski, Mohammad Siraj, or Cameron Green will get a point.

IndvAusNZvWIEngvSA
#Scoreline2-1 (ODI), 1-2 (T20I), 1-1 (Tests)
0/3
1-2 (T20I), 2-0 (Tests) ✅
1/2
0-3 (T20I) ❌, 2-1 (ODI)
0/1
#MVPHanuma Vihari (Ind), Labuschagne (Aus)Trent Boult (NZ), Roston Chase (WI)Moeen Ali (Eng), Van der Dussen (SA)
#MostRunsAjinkya RahaneRoss TaylorQuinton de Kock
#MostWicketsHazlewoodTrent Boult-Jason Holder (tied)Anrich Nortje
#EmergingPlayerWill Pucovski ✅Joshua De Silva ✅Liam Livingstone
#SurprisePackageAshwinKyle Jamieson ✅Sam Curran?
TOTAL POINTS: 4/211/83/70/6

The Actual Results

The Winners (Drumroll Please…)

And The winners are…. In-Depth Football & Cricket (9/21) 🥇, Ansh Sharma (7/14) 🥈, Pratyush (7/21) 🥉 & Crazy Anand (7/21) 🥉! Congratulations!!!!

1. Jimmy Ciego (0/2)

  • #ENGvSA: 2-1 (T20I), 2-1 (ODI)
2. The Hundred Report (3/7)
  • #IndvAus: 1-2 (ODI) ✅. 2-1 (T20) ✅, 1-2 (Tests) SO CLOSE BUT REVERSED!
  • #NZvWI: 2-1 (T20I), 2-0 (Tests) ✅
  • #SAvEng: 2-1 (T20I), 2-1 (ODI)
  • “I love mighty Mo – I think this will be last chance saloon for him sadly so fingers crossed he makes an impact”

POOR MOEEN ALI…Did not get to play a game in the last 2 months…and now contracted COVID.

3. TheCricketMen (3/7)
  • #IndvAus: 1-2 (ODI) ✅, 2-1 (T20I) ✅, 1-3 (Tests)
  • #NZvWI: 2-1 (T20I), 2-0 (Tests) ✅
  • #SAvEng: 2-1 (T20I), 2-1 (ODI)
4. Rohan Gulavani (Ind-Aus) (2/9)
  • #Scoreline: 2-1 (ODI), 2-1 (T20I) ✅, 0-3 (Tests)
  • #MVP: Mayank (India), Warner (Aus)
  • #MostRuns: Warner
  • #MostWickets: Lyon
  • #EmergingPlayer: Pucovski/Green ✅
  • #SurprisePackage: Green/Vihari
5. Ansh Sharma (7/14)
Ind-AusNZ-WI
#Scoreline2-1 (ODI), 2-1 (T20I) ✅, 2-1 (Tests) ✅2-1 (T20I), 2-0 (Tests) ✅
#MVPBumrah(Ind), Labuschagne (Aus)Trent Boult (NZ), Jason Holder (WI)
#MostRunsMarnus Labuschagne ✅Kane Williamson ✅
#MostWicketsPat Cummins ✅Trent Boult
#EmergingPlayerWill PucovskiTom Blundell
#SurprisePackageMayank AgarwalKyle Jamieson ✅
TOTAL POINTS: 7/144/83/6
6. Aayush Mahajan (3/14)
Ind-AusEng-SA
#Scoreline2-1 (ODI), 2-1 (T20I) ✅, 1-3 (Tests)2-1(T20I), 1-2(ODI)
#MVPMayank Agarwal (Ind), Smith (Aus)Sam Curran (Eng), Faf du Plessis (SA)
#MostRunsSteven SmithQuinton de Kock
#MostWicketsCummins ✅Kagiso Rabadda
#EmergingPlayerWill Pucovski ✅Liam Livingstone
#SurprisePackageAshwinHeinrich Klassen
TOTAL POINTS: 3/143/80/6

Vandit, the winner from IPL Predictions, got 6/18! Close to the top, but not the winner.

7. Vandit(6/21)
Ind-AusNZ-WIEngvSA
#Scoreline1-2 (ODI) ✅, 2-1 (T20I) ✅, 1-3 (Tests)2-1 (T20I), 2-0 (Tests) ✅3-0 (T20I) ✅, 2-1 (ODI)
#MVPMayank Agarwal (Ind), Josh Hazlewood(Aus)Trent Boult (NZ), Kemar Roach (WI)Jason Roy (Eng), Anrich Nortje (SA)
#MostRunsSteven SmithKane Williamson ✅Jason Roy
#MostWicketsJosh HazlewoodTrent BoultMark Wood
#EmergingPlayerWill Pucovski ✅Chemar HolderJanneman Malan
#SurprisePackageJoe BurnsShamarh BrooksSam Billings
TOTAL POINTS: 6/213/82/71/6
8. In-depth Football and Cricket (9/21)
Ind-AusNZ-WIEngvSA
#Scoreline2-1 (ODI), 2-1 (T20I) ✅, 1-3 (Tests)1-2 (T20I), 2-0 (Tests) ✅2-1 (T20I), 2-1 (T20I)
#MVPPujara (Ind), Labuschagne (Aus) ✅Watling (NZ), Holder (WI)Morgan (Eng), Quinton de Kock (SA)
#MostRunsSmithKane Williamson ✅Quinton de Kock
#MostWicketsCummins ✅WagnerAdil Rashid
#EmergingPlayerCameron Green ✅Will YoungGeorge Linde ✅
#SurprisePackageSiraj ✅Jamieson ✅Sam Curran
TOTAL POINTS: 9/215/83/71/6

9. Mohd Shamir Ansari (3/21)

*OOh, how life has changed in 2 months. Rohit Sharma came back for the 3rd Test, while KL Rahul found himself injured. Did not get to play a Test match at all.

IndvAusNZvWIEngvSA
#Scoreline2-1 (ODI), 1-2 (T20I), 2-1, 1 Draw (Tests) ✅1-2 (T20I), 2-0 (Tests) ✅2-1 (T20I), 1-2 (ODI)
#MVPKL Rahul (Ind), Travis Head (Aus)Colin de Grandhomme (NZ) , Jason Holder (WI)Jason Roy (Eng), Andile Phehlukwayo (SA)
#MostRuns*KL RahulHenry NichollsFaf du Plessis
#MostWicketsJasprit BumrahNeil WagnerKagiso Rabada
#EmergingPlayerMohammed Siraj ✅Shimron HetmyerReece Topley
#SurprisePackageJoe BurnsTom LathamJJ Smuts
TOTAL POINTS: 3/212/81/70/6
*Rohit Sharma was the first choice but Sharma has been ruled out for the first 2 Tests

The predictions for the next two in India vs Australia were correct in number (4-5), the guesses were opposite of the team who won the respective series. Great guess work nevertheless Rahul and Just Cricket!

10. Rahul Kumar (2/21)
Ind-AusNZ-WIEng-SA
#Scoreline2-1 (ODI), 1-2 (T20I), 1-2 (Tests)1-2 (T20I), 2-0 (Tests) ✅0-3 (T20I), 2-1 (ODI)
#MVPBumrah(Ind), Labuschagne (Aus)Williamson (NZ), Holder (WI)Morgan(Eng), Rabada (SA)
#MostRunsWarner/RahaneRoss TaylorFaf/Jos
#MostWicketsHazlewoodTrent BoultArcher
#EmergingPlayerWill Pucovski ✅Jamieson J Malan
#SurprisePackageMayank/RahulChemar HolderNortje
TOTAL POINTS: 2/211/81/70/6
11. JustCricket (3/21)
Ind-AusNZ-WIEng-SA
#Scoreline2-1 (ODI), 1-2 (T20I), 1-2 (Tests)1-2 (T20I), 2-0 (Tests) ✅2-1 (T20I), 1-2 (ODI)
#MVPBumrah(Ind), Cummins(Aus) ✅HolderRashid (Eng), QDK (SA)
#MostRunsSteve SmithWilliamsonQDK
#MostWicketsLyonBoultRabada
#EmergingPlayerCam Green ✅JamiesonJanneman Malan
#SurprisePackageCam Green BrooksJanneman Malan
TOTAL POINTS: 3/212/81/70/6
12. Pratyush (8/21)
Ind-AusNZ-WIEng-SA
#Scoreline2-1 (ODI), 2-1 (T20I) ✅, 1-2 (Tests)1-2 (T20I), 2-0 (Tests) ✅3-0 (T20I) ✅, 2-1 (ODI)
#MVPVihari (Ind), Labuschagne (Aus) Wagner (NZ), Chase (WI)Morgan (Eng), Van der Dussen (SA)
#MostRunsPujaraWilliamson ✅Quinton de Kock
#MostWicketsCummins ✅WagnerArcher
#EmergingPlayerWill Pucovski ✅Joshua De Silva ✅Verreynne
#SurprisePackageGill ✅Will YoungSam Curran
TOTAL POINTS: 8/214/83/71/6
13. Crazy Anand (8/21)
Ind-AusNZ-WIEng-SA
#Scoreline2-1 (ODI), 2-1 (T20I) ✅, 1-1 (Tests)1-2 (T20I), 2-0 (Tests) ✅2-1 (T20I), 2-1 (ODI)
#MVPMayank Agarwal (Ind), Marnus Labuschagne (Aus)CDG (NZ) Roston Chase (WI)Chris Woakes (Eng), Rassie Van der Dussen (SA)
#MostRunsMarnus Labuschagne ✅Ross TaylorQDK
#MostWicketsPat Cummins ✅Neil WagnerRabada
#EmergingPlayerPucovski ✅Joshua De Silva ✅Liam Livingstone
#SurprisePackageRahul, Gill ✅Kyle Jamieson ✅Sam Curran
TOTAL POINTS: 8/215/83/70/6

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The Opinions

Here is how some of the Tweets aged for the Cricket 2020 Predictions. Some of these comments are amazingly close!

Highlights: Comments that Came True, Predictions That Were Off, My Comments/Opinions

1. Arnab Bhattacharyya

Everyone has been dismissing India’s chance in the BG Trophy – Test series . I have a feeling we will do well there , provided all of them stay injury free. We are a better team in the white ball format , so winning them wont be a surprise .

2. Rohan Gulavani

I feel first Test in Adelaide may be over in less than 4 days..

  1. Both sides playing a test after long time..rustiness..
  2. India has not played DN test except Kolkata one
  3. Both side have quality bowlers. Evening sessions could be very productive for bowlers..

3. Johnny

For #SAvEng I just hope they get on the pitch. If they do, England probably win both 2-1. They don’t seem to be taking ODIs that seriously right now which could give SA a chance but most of them have had either a decent IPL or a good rest so will be ready to go…

4. Scripurient (2/3)

In terms of #IndvAus, it will be very, very competitive as is the case usually with the two sides. In terms of the scoreline, I reckon its:-

  • T20s:- 2-1 (Ind) ✅ ODIs:- 1-2 (Aus) ✅ Tests:- 1-2 ❌ (1 drawn ✅) – Aus

Tough to predict though, very tough!

For #EngvSA, well, first they need to get over natural obstacles (rain)

If all matches do commence as plan, my predictions are:- T20s:- 2-1 (could potentially be 3-0 if Eng plays a full-strength team) ODIs:- 2-1 Both in favor of England.

5. TheRedCherry: (1/4)

ODIs: India to win 2-1 T20I’s: Aussies to win 2-1 Tests: 2-1 for Aussies…

ENG vs SA: T20I’S – 2-1 ODIs – 3-0 (both in favour of England)

6. Sabeeha Majid responds:

3-0?? Give us a shot at least. We did beat the aussies 3-0

Interesting conversation this….

Well…England swept the T20I 3-0 unfortunately for South Africa.

7. Sehrish

Some interesting predictions but I believe ENGvSA will be the closest one. 3-0 seems way too off, 2-1, quite possible.

8. Aayush Mahajan

NZvWI tough to predict due to unpredictable nature of the Windies

Conclusion

I hope this was a fun game for you! Everyone did way better than the IPL Predictions!

Next Stop: IPL 2021 Predictions after the new teams are selected.

If you enjoyed the Cricket 2020 Predictions, Comment below, join us for free updates below, and share with your friends!

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Image Courtesy: Steve SmithNAPARAZZI, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Top 10 Life Lessons From India Vs Australia 2020: Courage, Character, Resilience – Which One Is Your Favorite?

Top 10 Life Lessons From India Vs Australia 2020: Courage, Character, Resilience – Which One Is Your Favorite?

India Vs Australia 2020, a series to cherish forever.

In the time of COVID and hardship, this is exactly what was needed. Not only did this series entertain, it also taught us valuable life lessons as well.

Earlier we did a similar piece on 10 Life Lessons from IPL 2020:

  1. Soil Fertile Elsewhere
  2. The Audacity of Hope
  3. Rise Like a Phoenix
  4. Make Most of Your Opportunities
  5. Synergy Above All
  6. Small Hole Can Sink a Ship
  7. Carry Old Baggage At Your Own Risk
  8. When One Era Closes, Another Opens
  9. Fix Roof When Sun Is Shining
  10. Sportsmanship & Passion For the Game

Today we will add more 10 life lessons from cricket we can apply to our lives.

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.

Also Read: Cricket’s Reflections of Passion, Prediction Results, Life Lessons From Joe Biden & Joe Denly

The Life Lessons

India Vs Australia 2020 Edition

1. Resilience & Courage

Moment: The entire series.

The series can be summed up by Nelson Mandela’s quote, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Whenever India looked like they were gone, they found a way to get back up.

36/9 in Adelaide and without Virat Kohli at Melbourne. Surely India cannot recover at the Boxing Day Test? Well exactly the opposite happened as India achieved a memorable victory. The entire team rose to the occasion & Rahane, the stand-in captain, stood up with a magnificent century.

Resilience.

Injuries to fast bowlers of the Class of 2018. Before the series, No Ishant, no Bhuvi. Midway through the series, Shami, Umesh, and Bumrah out. By the end, Ashwin, Jadeja, & Vihari are done. Battered & bruised, they draw the third test.

Did the Indian team decide to give up at any point in time? Does India play for the draw in the 4th test? No & No. They go for the win. And they indeed win.

Courage.

Life Lesson 1: It is okay to make mistakes. You will suffer setbacks. The important part is to regroup, learn from these initial setbacks & mistakes, and find your feet again. Keep working. Keep going. Just never give up.

2. Just Be Yourself

Moment: Pant-Pujara Partnership

Oh he plays too slow! No intent shown….Oh he is too reckless. Gets out against the run of play.

This is not a description about one player but a paraphrasing of criticism for two different players, Pujara and Pant.

Balance is important. Criticize these two at your own peril.

Pujara scored his slowest fifty in the first innings of the 3rd Test. He followed it up by his 3rd slowest in the second innings. He went to break his own slowest 50th at the historic Gabba chase.

Pant ‘throws it away’ in the 2019 World Cup Semi-Final. Pant has ‘thrown it away’ several times before. In the third test, he plays a ‘rash’ shot at 97. Hopes of India’s win diminish, but the fact India had hope in the first place is due to Pant. Fortune favors the brave.

Pujara ended the series with a strike rate of 29.2. Pant with 69.89. Neither got a century, yet the partnerships of 148 (265) in Sydney and 61 (141) at Brisbane were monumental in India’s victory.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant. Chalk and cheese. Yin and Yang.

Life Lesson 2: Adapting to different situations & circumstances in life is important but not at the expense of your innate being. Always learn from others, listen, take their advice, but at the end of the day, you are unique, and that is good enough. Never change who you are for others, and never forget where you came from.

3. Character & Determination

Moment: Hanuma Vihari & R Ashwin in the 3rd Test

Hanuma Vihari had a disastrous series till Day 5 of the 3rd Test. In his 5 innings, he scored 16 & 8, 21, and 4 & 23*. By the 4th day, he had run himself out after looking uncomfortable with a 4 (38), dropped a couple of crucial chances, and had been hit numerous times at forward short leg.

When Pujara & Pant depart on Day 5, Vihari has only scored 3*(31) with a session & a half to go. Just to put salt on the wound, Vihari suffers a hamstring injury. His new partner, R Ashwin, neither has form on his side nor a functioning back.

But boy, does he have spine? Post tea, he gets battered with short deliveries and gets hit on the ribs & shoulders.

Response? They pull off one of the major heists in recent Test cricketing memory. Vihari 23*(161) with over 4 and a half hours of batting & 39*(128) in 3 hours for Ashwin. Partnership of 62*(259).

If this is not one of the greatest displays of character & determination, I just don’t know what is.

Life Lesson 3: Sometimes things are in your favor. At other times, they are not. Vihari could have easily retired hurt and cared for his place in the 4th Test. These moments are what life is all about. Even when you are not 100% physically or mentally, stay in the moment & give it your all.

Don’t retire hurt and sell yourself short.

4. Fearlessness

Moments: India’s youngsters rise to the occasion. Pant’s 97 & 89*, Sundar 62, Thakur 67 & 7 wickets, Siraj’s 5-for, & Shubman Gill’s 91.

Mark Twain is credited to have said, “Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.”

The embodiment of fearlessness was displayed by India’s youth in this tour—Debutants Shubman Gill, Mohammad Siraj, Washington Sundar, (almost debutant) Shardul Thakur, and none more so than the experienced Rishabh Pant.

Gill’s backfoot punches are a thing of beauty. Beauty + Consistency + Positive Approach = Brilliance of Shubman Gill. Scores of 45, 35*, 50, 31, 7, and the 91 that gave India belief in Brisbane.

Thakur & Sundar did not fear against Starc-Cummins-Hazlewood. Neither did they blindly hit. They played proper cricketing shots & dominated. On Day 5 and near victory, Sundar pulled dangerous Cummins for six, Pant paddle swept Lyon, & Sundar got out playing a reverse sweep. Fearless stuff.

Life Lesson 4: You will face challenges and difficulty—whether that is related to school or work. Next time you fear how hard the upcoming exam is or if you have self-doubts about completing a project, take a deep breath and invoke your inner Rishabh Pant.

Spiderman, Spiderman,…

5. The Whole Is Greater Than Sum of The Parts

Moment: India Maximize Available Resource

Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. The youngsters, reserves, & stalwarts of India were prepared when this opportunity came.

Although Rahane’s century was the highlight of Melbourne’s victory, Bumrah and Ashwin were among the wickets, Shubman Gill contributed with a 45 & 35*, & ever dependable Jadeja made a steady 57 along with his fielding efforts.

The Sydney draw was masterminded by Pant-Pujara & Ashwin-Vihari partnerships, but also had key contributions from Gill-Sharma & Jadeja again. In the final Test, the improbable counterattack by Thakur-Sundar, Siraj’s 5-for, & Gill-Pujara-Pant-Sundar took India to victory.

India utilized 20 squad members, Pant was the highest score with only 274 runs, & Siraj the highest wicket taker with 13 wickets. It was a truly a team effort from India’s point of view. Australia had more centuries, highest wicket taker, & most run scorer (since they played all 4 matches).

Life Lesson 5: Learn to work with others. The more diverse the ideas, the better. Individual excellence along with the greater good is the best way forward. Bring others along with you.

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6. Be Like Pat Cummins

Moment: Pat Cummins bowls his heart out

So why does Cummins get a special mention? Because he was the highest wicket taker at 21 wickets and player of the series? No.

Pat Cummins bowled 162.1 overs, the most by a pacer in this Test series (Lyon with 187). Hazlewood was next with 144.4. This is an amazing feat considering Cummins was marred by injuries in his early career (Test debut in 2011, but did not play any tests between 2012-16).

He was just as intense on Day 1 of the first Test as he was on Day 5 of the 4th. In the final hour of the series, if there was one bowler who Tim Paine could depend on, it was Pat Cummins. Still bowling at 140 clicks, hitting the perfect line & length (Spooky pitch map by the way).

Accuracy, Consistency, Intensity. That’s Pat Cummins for you.

Pujara and the rest of the Indian batsmen had drained the Australian bowling unit. Cummins must have been out of energy. He must have tired, but it did not show. Bowled his heart out.

Life Lesson 6: Success comes before work only in dictionary. If you want to pursue any field, be like Pat Cummins. Give it your 100%. Work hard, play hard, fail, learn, cherish moments of glory, repeat.

7. Fine Line Between Banter & Abuse

Moments: Ashwin-Paine Banter, Mohammad Siraj Racial Abuse

The heat of the moment got to Tim Paine in the 3rd Test match with his banter against Ashwin. It came back to bite him since Australia lost their fortress after 33 years, the Gabbatoir. Paine later came back for an emergency press conference to address the issues. At other times in the series, commentators were guilty of making derogatory remarks against Marnus Labuschagne.

The tensions came to a boil when spectators racially abused Mohammad Siraj on multiple days. Siraj reported the incident to the umpire. Several ex-players, including Justin Langer have come out against it. As Bharat Sundaresan wrote, “Siraj is the hero we need to be.” Bharat also speaks about it here.

Life Lesson 7: Racism is not acceptable in any form. Speak up if you are a victim or a by-stander. Try to learn from other cultures. If you are not sure about a cultural reference or how to pronounce a name, just ask. Don’t Assume. Embrace diversity. Be nice.

8. Walk the Talk: Performance Matters

Moments: Tim Paine & Matthew Wade’s Performances

Tim Paine had a decent series with the bat, especially the counter attacking Player of the Match 73* at Adelaide. The rest of his performance though was below par.

Dropped catches at Sydney & Brisbane, missed DRS reviews, useless banter, & fielding placements. He needs to walk the talk with his captaincy.

The other keeper in the XI, Matthew Wade also needs to walk the talk. He has done a great job plugging holes in Australia’s line up as a middle order, opening batsman, and taking hits from Neil Wagner. In this India Vs Australia 2020 series, he has managed to get out with a soft dismissal on 3-4 occasions.

Life Lesson 8: Words need to be accompanied with actions to have any meaning. Walk the talk & never take anything for granted. When you are doing well, make the most out of your opportunity because the good times can end very quickly.

9. Leadership Matters

Moments: Siraj leads the attack, Rahane consoles Jadeja after Run Out

If I had to remember this series by one story alone, it would be Mohammad Siraj. Siraj comes from a humble background, was in bereavement of his father’s loss, and was racially abused. Bumrah gets injured, and India play the Brisbane Test with a total of 4 Test matches among the 5 bowlers, with Rohit Sharma being the most experienced bowler.

Siraj becomes the leader of the attack, gives advice to Saini, Natarajan, & Thakur, and takes a well deserved 5-fer. It has been a great boon to Indian cricket that the transition from Zaheer Khan to Ishant Sharma, Ishant Sharma to Bumrah, and Bumrah to Siraj has been smooth. Arms around shoulders.

Speaking of leadership, Rahane’s captaincy & calm demeanor (the Jadeja moment & reaction after series victory) were central to India’s win. In addition, the physio’s efforts during this injury-marred series, and support staff’s influence with Bharat Arun & Ravi Shastri cannot be understated.

Life Lesson 9: Be the leader you want others to be. Lead With humility and vision. Take responsibility. Guide Others. Sharing is caring. Creating other leaders is the most significant sign of leadership.

10. Do Not Get Ahead of Yourself

Moments: The Gabba Fortress Breached

The pre-series talk included several predictions of Australia sweeping 4-0 and even after Sydney, Gabba’s statistics were the talk of the town. We all know what happened.

India needs to be warned as well. This was an expected surreal win, but the Indian team should not get ahead of themselves. If India gets complacent, who knows, England might provide India a taste of their own medicine later this year.

Life Lesson 10: Pride and ego can lead to positive growth if utilized correctly. Hubris and arrogance, on the other hand, will certainly bring your downfall.

11. Bonus Story: Superstitions For The Win

This is a fun personal story.

I have always enjoyed underdog stories. I mean, this entire blog is about “Broken Cricket Dreams.” One of the Test matches I have always waited for is a 5th Day hard fought draw.

Due to time zones, I had missed Faf’s Adelaide debut & a similar New Zealand-England match earlier in the decade. The 2015 South Africa blockathon (143 runs in 143.1 overs) resulted in a narrow defeat. The end of the decade, I thought my dream would come true with the Azhar Ali-Fawad Alam-Rizwan effort. It was not to be.

I am also known for my jinx ability & superstitions (just for the fun of it). So 3rd Test Day 5, I had been asked by my friend and family to not tweet a thing. I went one step ahead and decided to not speak either for the day.

After almost 9 and a half hours, the dream finally came true. India had saved the Test match. And guess what? It was a kind of peaceful exercise, not being on social medial 24-7. Anyway…

India Vs Australia 2020 Legacy

Surely this is a tour that Allan Border & Sunil Gavaskar would be proud of.

For a generation or two, the 1999 World Cup Semi-Final, 2005 Ashes, 2001 Laxman’s 281, Belinda Clarke’s 229* were the moments to cherish. In the last 5 years, cricket has rejuvenated itself. All formats with memorable moments.

  1. T20 World Cup – Remember The Name
  2. Women’s World Cup 2017, WT20 2020 – 86,000 spectators
  3. ODI World Cup Final 2019
  4. Stokes Headingly 2019, Perera 153*
  5. India Vs Australia 2020

So, India Vs Australia – who won?

Here is one of our tweets that made it after the 36/9 in Adelaide.

If you like these philosophy bits, go check these two featured articles below.

Also Read: Top 10 Life Lessons from IPL 2020, Cricket’s Reflections of Passion

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Copyright – @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Sources: goodreads.com, Brainy Quote

Image Courtesy: Anand Anil, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons