Michael Vaughan steps back from BBC commentary role over Yorkshire racism scandal

Michael Vaughan will not be part of the commentary team for the rescheduled fifth Test between England and India which begins on 1 July.


File image of former England captain Michael Vaughan. Reuters

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has decided to “step back from work with the BBC” after reportedly being charged earlier this month by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) over the Yorkshire racism scandal. Vaughan will not be part of the commentary team for the rescheduled fifth Test between England and India which begins on 1 July.

The 47-year-old was also dropped from the commentary team late last year for the Ashes after he was accused by several players of making a racist comment before a game for Yorkshire in 2009. Former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq had alleged that Vaughan told him and two other players of Asian origin that there were “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it”.

Vaughan, who has denied all the accusations, returned to commentary with BBC in March. His return caused uneasiness among BBC’s Black, Asian and minority employees who wrote a letter to the staff at the incorporation criticising the “totally inexcusable” decision to re-employ the former England cricket captain, according to a report in The Guardian.

Vaughan in a statement on Twitter said that he has decided to step back from BBC duties for the “wellbeing” of his family members.

“It is always regrettable when commentary on matters off the field take the focus away from what’s happening on the field. In view of the ongoing dialogue on the subject, I have taken the decision to step back from my work for the BBC for the time being,” Vaughan wrote.

“The key driver for this is my concern for the wellbeing of my family members and my wish to protect their family life. Stepping back temporarily is also in the interests of the game and I hope that it will minimise any difficulties for my work colleagues.”

After Vaughan’s announcement, BBC in a statement said: “Following conversations with Michael Vaughan we’ve accepted his decision to step away from our cricket coverage. This is a decision we respect and understand. Michael remains under contract to the BBC.”

Vaughan, who captained England in Tests between 2003 and 2008, played his entire domestic career at Yorkshire county club.

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R Ashwin prioritises India’s Test series win against England ahead of own selection

R Ashwin watched on from the sidelines as India took a 2-1 lead over England in the Test series last year. His only glimmer of hope at being picked in the India playing XI came in the third Test but the management went with one spinner in Ravindra Jadeja.

Amid an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the Indian camp, the fifth Test was rescheduled and gets underway on 1 July at Edgbaston. As luck would have it, the venue helps spinners which supports Ashwin’s credentials to be named in the playing XI.

“I have had my own mental conditioning coach. I have gone through a lot personally, and I tend to forget things very quickly now. So, what’s happened last year in England I have forgotten it; only the good things I try to carry forward,” said Ashwin in Mumbai prior to departure.

“I will be so happy and gunning for the team to win 3-1 because I can turn back and say I was in an Indian team which won in Australia, which won in England. Unfortunately we couldn’t win in South Africa, so that’s what I want”

Ashwin had a delayed arrival in England after testing COVID-19 positive. But there were no signs of any illness as the off-spinner bowled well against Leicestershire in the warm-up game.

“I have been taught cricket very differently. You can’t challenge conditions, if the conditions are against you, you have to make the best choices. Somewhere I feel these things go out of the window and personal vendetta does come through and that’s why I have this habit of saying, ‘okay forget things and move on’,” said Ashwin.

Ashwin had kind words for Cheteshwar Pujara who is back in the fold after a string of tall scores in County Cricket for Sussex.

“Pujara was a thoroughbred Test cricketer always. Sometimes it’s just my thought process, in India, IPL is the biggest stage at this point of time and sometimes… we can tend to get carried away by the stage,” said Ash.

“Pujara has remained authentic. With respect to all that, we need to understand that he has done a very thankless job. He walks in at No 3, he doesn’t complain, he keeps grinding it out. I am so glad he went and made runs and earned his place back in the side. At the end of the day, good guys should win, they shouldn’t finish last,” he concluded.

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‘Pressure is on England’: Ajit Agarkar backs India despite hosts’ 3-0 sweep of New Zealand

The ‘Bazball’ Era is off to a rollicking start with England completing a comprehensive 3-0 sweep of New Zealand in the recently-concluded Test series.

The manner in which England chased down challenging targets in all three Tests certainly does send a warning to other teams, and one would think that the Ben Stokes-led and Brendon McCullum-coached side enter their next assignment — the postponed final game from last year’s five-Test series against India — as the team more likely to come out on top.

Former India all-rounder Ajit Agarkar, though, isn’t among those picking England as the outright favourites going into the marquee summer fixture at Birmingham’s Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

“At the end of the day, you want to try and play better than the other team and get the result that you want, and India at the moment are 2-1 in that series. So the pressure is on England to try and level the series,” Agarkar told reporters in a virtual interaction ahead of the England-India Test.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for England in the Test series against New Zealand despite the eventual series 3-0 scoreline. In the third Test in Headingley for instance, the hosts were reduced to 55/6 at one point before Jonny Bairstow and Jamie Overton rescued them with a marathon partnership.

England’s captain Ben Stokes, center, holds the winners trophy as he poses with his teammates. AP

Agarkar, while admitting the current English side are a terrific outfit, doesn’t think India will allow them to slip away as easily should they create those chances.

“They are terrific players obviously. Stokes a world-class all-rounder, Bairstow’s found some serious form in the last couple of Tests. But Root is still their main batsman.

“But if you compare New Zealand with the Indian attack, I just feel India’s got a little bit more to their attack and it won’t be that easy to take India down, there’s no doubt. Specially with the situation England were in in most Tests earlier on. If India can put them in that situation, getting early wickets, it will be a lot harder to take India down the way they’ve taken New Zealand down,” Agarkar said.

One of the most widely discussed topics ahead of the fixture is that of India skipper Rohit Sharma’s availability. Rohit, who found himself elevated to captaincy across formats not too long after the suspended Test series last year, tested positive for COVID-19 during the practice game against Leicestershire and there’s a giant question mark over his availability for the upcoming game.

While the team management will no doubt be hoping Rohit recovers in time to lead his team, they will also be making backup plans both for captaincy as well as the for the opener’s slot, a position that Rohit made his own through his remarkable performances with the bat in last year’s series.

Mayank Agarwal was named as a backup option should Rohit fail to recover in time for the Test, but names such as Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari and even rookie wicketkeeper-batter KS Bharat, who struck an impressive 70 not out in the practice game against Leicestershire, are doing the rounds at the moment. Shubman Gill, though, looks assured of his spot at the top of the order at the moment and the entire focus will be on picking his partner.

“I know KS Bharat got some runs in the warmup game. The team management will probably have a look at how prepared Mayank Agarwal is once he joins the team. I don’t know whether he has enough time to prepare for a Test, specially a one-off Test.

“So Rahul (Dravid) or Rohit — obviously he’s in isolation — might make that decision if he’s looking okay. If not, I believe experience might help, whether it’s Pujara or Vihari. Pujara has been around for a long time but if not, then Vihari’s already opened for India couple of times. It’s better to go with a little bit more experience because it’s a one-off Test, in my opinion,” said Agarkar, whose name features on the Lord’s Honours Board, albeit for his exploits with the bat rather than ball.

Whether Pujara bats at the top of the order or comes at his usual No 3, his place in the XI looks assured at the moment despite the fact that the elegant Saurashtra batter was dramatically axed from the Test side along with Ajinkya Rahane ahead of the Sri Lanka series earlier this year.

Pujara managed to force his way back into contention following his terrific run in the County Championship for Sussex, scoring 720 runs in five outings at an average of 120, collecting four hundreds including two double-tons along the way.

Cheteshwar Pujara celebrates after scoring his fourth century of the season for Sussex. Image credit: Twitter/@SussexCCC

And according to Agarkar, Pujara rediscovering his touch with the bat couldn’t have come at a better time for the Indians. That and the fact that he’s spent nearly the entire summer in Britain and certainly is more acclimatised to the conditions than his teammates at the moment.

“I think it’s a good thing for the Indian team that he was there and playing in those conditions. We don’t quite know what conditions he’d encountered, but I’m sure there’s been enough swing and seam around in that month or so that he’s been there. Also has the experience, for 90-odd Tests, that is a terrific career.

“There’s no doubt it has come at the right time. Also because it’s a one-off Test, not many of the other batters have been playing in these conditions, so it is certainly an advantage. It will be a tougher challenge obviously, playing against the English bowlers, but he’s been there before, so it is certainly good for the Indian team,” Agarkar said.

Similar questions are also being asked of India’s bowling combination for the one-off fixture.

While pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are absolute certainties and Mohammed Siraj, who enjoyed a productive run in last year’s series, is likely to be picked as the third seamer, the team leadership will have the tough task of choosing between bowling all-rounders Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, or playing them both at the cost of a seam-bowling all-round option in Shardul Thakur.

Agarkar maintained that the two-spinner combination could only work if the conditions at Edgbaston favoured spin like it did recently at Headingley, and for the typical English conditions, India were better off sticking to their four-pacer-one-spinner combination from last year.

As for his pick for the fourth seamer, he singled out Thakur as the man who could prove handy at the No 8 position and also get the crucial breakthroughs for his side.

“India played with four seamers; I think Shardul can offer enough with the bat at number eight and as a fourth seamer, did that in South Africa as well.

“Shardul offers a bit more with the bat at No 8, and if there’s likely to be help for the seamers, then he becomes even more effective, if there’s some swing and seam on offer.

“So I think that’s the way they’d go. Otherwise the tail becomes too long if at 8, you look at someone like an Umesh or even Prasidh Krishna. I think Shardul would probably make it if they go with four seamers,” Agarkar said.

India’s Shardul Thakur celebrates taking the wicket of England’s Joe Root, right, on Day 5 of the fourth Test match at The Oval. AP

India ended up getting outplayed every time they visited England in the previous decade (2011, 2014 and 2018). However, the Virat Kohli-led side that toured the nation last year was a different beast, and it showed in their performances at the two London Tests — winning at Lord’s and Oval by 151 runs and 157 runs respectively.

India were 2-1 up in the series heading to the fifth Test in Manchester before a COVID scare in the Indian camp, followed by an intense round of talks between the ECB and the BCCI, forced the series finale to get postponed to next year.

Watch the LIVE coverage of the much anticipated fifth Test between England and India on SONY SIX (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi), and SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels starting from 1st July at 3:30 pm IST.

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Watch: Crowd goes ballistic as Hardik Pandya announces return of Sanju Samson to playing XI

Sanju Samson scored 77 off 42 balls as India won the second T20I by four runs against Ireland.


Sanju Samson smashed 77 off 42 balls against Ireland. AFP

In a bid to try out as many faces as possible before the T20 World Cup, the Indian team included Sanju Samson for the 2nd T20I against Ireland in Malahide. When skipper Hardik Pandya announced his return, the crowd present in the ground went ballistic and even made Pandya take a pause and smile at the response.

India won the first game. The second fixture went down to the wire and India clinched victory in the final ball of the match. The side had made three changes for the second T20I against Ireland — Ruturaj Gaikwad was out with a niggle and hence, Sanju Samson was called up. Harshal Patel replaced Avesh Khan while Ravi Bishnoi was given a go as India opted to rest Yuzvendra Chahal.

As soon as Pandya announced his team, the crowd in Malahide went berserk. Pandya paused, looked at the crowd, smiled and said: “A lot of people liking it”.

Watch:

Deepak Hooda and Sanju Samson were the stars for India as they stitched a 176-run stand in the second T20I. After a rather watchful start, both players shifted gears and while Hooda was more expressive, Samson too went after the bowlers. Samson missed out on his century, but Deepak Hooda registered his ton in 55 balls. When they went past 165 runs, the duo bettered the 2017 record shared by KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma against Sri Lanka in Indore.

On their way to achieving this record, Hooda and Samson also combined to notch up the ninth highest partnership in all men’s T20Is, the highest second-wicket partnership in all men’s T20Is as well as the highest partnership for India for any wicket in men’s T20Is.

Ireland were superb in reply as they kept up with the required run rate, but Umran Malik held his nerve and gave India a four-run win in the final over.

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Sri Lanka vs Australia Live Cricket Score, 1st Test Day 1 in Galle

SRI LANKA vs AUSTRALIA PREVIEW: Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and elected to bat against Australia in the opening Test of the two-match series on Wednesday.

The hosts handed a Test debut to leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay at the picturesque Galle International Stadium, which saw some rain in the morning.

“We know how the pitch is going to behave on day four and five, so we want to take advantage of the conditions,” Karunaratne said at the toss.

“Vandersay is playing. We are playing one seamer and three spinners.”

Travis Head was declared fit to play leaving Australia unchanged from the team that secured a 1-0 series win over Pakistan in March with Mitchell Swepson retaining his place as the second spinner alongside Nathan Lyon.

Skipper Pat Cummins said Australia would have batted first had he won the toss and has picked pace bowler Mitchell Starc ahead of Josh Hazlewood.

“We were looking to bat first as well,” said Cummins.

“Thankfully, Travis has pulled up well and is playing. Two seamers, two spinners and a couple of spinning all rounders.

“It is weird seeing him (Hazlewood) sitting on the bench, he is a world-class bowler, but we have gone with Starc.”

Sri Lanka’s cricket board paid tribute to the late Australia leg-spin giant Shane Warne before the start of play, with off-spin great Muttiah Muralitharan and former captain Arjuna Ranatunga among the island nation’s cricket icons in attendance.

Warne, who died at age 52 of a suspected heart attack in March, took his 500th Test wicket at Galle in 2004.

The Test series will be played for the Warne-Muralitharan trophy.

TEAMS:

Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, Ramesh Mendis, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lasith Embuldeniya, Asitha Fernando

Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (capt), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson

Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI), Nitin Menon (IND)

TV umpire: Michael Gough (ENG)

Match referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)

(with inputs from AFP)

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Eoin Morgan: The mastermind behind England’s white-ball revival who transformed attitudes, fortunes

Eoin Morgan oversaw England’s greatest embarrassment in 50-over World Cup cricket, in 2015. Four years later, he masterminded England’s crowning glory by leading the team to the ultimate prize in the same competition.

If history will remember him fondly for the latter than castigate him for the former, it’s entirely because of the change in attitude and approach that he demanded and commanded from a team that was on the verge of becoming the worst advertisement for limited-overs cricket.

It’s scarcely believable that a team that only ten days back came within two runs of touching 500 runs in a One-Day International innings was, seven years back, a hesitant, plodding, conservative batting group that brought a jalopy to a Formula One race.

Mired in circumspection, afraid of failure and averse to risk-taking, England’s white-ball cricket until the middle of 2015 was a throwback to the amateur era minus the joy of playing the sport.

In the immediacy of England’s inability to make even the quarterfinal of the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Morgan was entrusted with the task of redefining his adopted country’s philosophy towards the limited-overs game. The land that had given the world the abridged version was being overrun by all-comers. And defeat at the hands of Bangladesh at the Adelaide Oval that ushered Morgan’s men out of the 2015 World Cup at the first possible instance threatened to assume proportions of the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

This straw, however, had the opposite effect. England’s cricket bosses, alarmed at the unchecked decline of their white-ball fortunes and alive to the danger that that posed to the fan-base, as much as anything else, woke up to the reality that unless there was a radical shake-up, things would go into terminal decline. Towards that end, they gave Morgan a free hand, confident in their assessment that their Dublin-born skipper had the standing, the stature, the nous, the skills and the burning desire to catalyse the sweeping winds of change. Morgan didn’t disappoint.

Eoin Morgan retires: How former and current cricketers reacted

Among the first exercises Morgan and new coach Trevor Bayliss undertook after that fateful Adelaide hammering was to unweed the squad of those superfluous to the white-ball scheme of things because they weren’t perceived to fit the template the captain had unearthed.

So out went Alastair Cook, who had then only recently ceded the ODI captaincy to Morgan, as well as the crack new-ball combine of James Anderson and Stuart Broad. In one of those happy coincidences, this radical (from an English perspective) move helped prolong the careers of the two quicks, who have re-established themselves as integral cogs in the Test match wheel.

It called for courage bordering on the foolhardy to cull the iconic old in a country that, more than any other, desperately clings to the past. Cook, Anderson and Broad were household names and even though English fans were fast becoming disillusioned following a string of abject failures, Morgan wasn’t unaware he was taking a punt in delinking his legacy from the inglorious past.

Morgan’s philosophy revolved around embracing the fearless. Towards that end, the net was cast far and wide in the quest for players who would fit the bill – batsmen who weren’t afraid of failure, who didn’t look for one where a four beckoned, who were naturally aggressive from the get-go and bowlers who were versatile, multi-skilled, didn’t frown upon inculcating the modern in their arsenal and constantly sought to progress beyond the unidimensional.

The vibrant playing fields of the county game as well as the assortment of white-ball play threw up enough personnel. The trick then was in convincing them to do for the country what they were doing with no little success for their counties and their franchises.

It was here that Morgan’s man-management skills came to the fore. To ask his men to do his bidding was one thing, to convince them that they would be given a long enough rope so that they didn’t get bogged down by a string of early failures was another.

Eoin Morgan retires: Interesting numbers from an illustrious career

The possibility of the establishment and the fans losing patience in the early stages of transition from the ultra-defensive to the uber-attacking was genuine, but the dexterity with which Morgan walked that tightrope ensured that England’s new-found moxy in the limited-overs game would be anything but ephemeral.

Morgan won himself breathing space aplenty by spearheading England’s charge at the T20 World Cup in India in 2016. Armed with their refreshing new all-round pyrotechnics, England wowed audiences and decimated oppositions, taking their appointed place in the final. It required a mini-miracle and four straight Carlos Brathwaite sixes in the final over from Ben Stokes for the English juggernaut to be halted.

By now, the world was alive to and fearful of the depth of powerhouse resources at Morgan’s disposal.

The consistency that characterised England’s seemingly high-risk approach was a testament as much to Morgan’s leadership abilities as the upsurge of belief and self-confidence within the ranks.

Suddenly, no target was beyond the reach of Buttler and Roy and Hales and Billings, of Morgan himself and Bairstow and Stokes. Recognising the virtue of quality spin, England invested in Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid to complement a hand-picked fast-bowling unit which became even more dangerous when Jofra Archer became available for selection in time for the 2019 World Cup at home.

A cherished dream was attained in June 2019 when Morgan lifted the World Cup at Lord’s despite beating New Zealand in the final only on a technicality. Morgan, as much as the entire team, had sung the redemption song. The World Cup triumph was as much a victory for will as it was for skill, it had been won as much in the backroom as on the park.

England’s white-ball fortunes, most likely under Jos Buttler going forward, is in extremely safe hands. The core of the squad Morgan assembled is still around, but the 35-year-old skipper had to go at some stage because the last 18 months have personally been demanding with issues surrounding form and fitness becoming more and more pronounced.

For all his contributions to English cricket, Morgan deserved a far better send-off than two ducks in his final two ODIs, but sport generally has an aversion to fairy-tale farewells.

Such is the aura surrounding Morgan’s captaincy that it’s easy to overlook the fact that he is England’s leading scorer in both ODI and T20I cricket. His retirement from international cricket will leave a Morgan-sized hole, and while that might never be filled, he can take heart from what few others have done – dramatically transform the approach as much as fortunes.

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Hardik Pandya explains why Umran Malik bowled the final over against Ireland in second T20I

India’s stand-in captain Hardik Pandya said he backed Umran Malik to do the job as the cricketer possesses tearaway pace.


Umran Malik defended 17 runs in the final over as India defeated Ireland in second T20I. AFP

India’s stand-in captain Hardik Pandya explained the reason behind giving Umran Malik the ball in the final over of the match in the second T20I against Ireland at The Village. After a disappointing international debut where Umran only bowled one over for 14 runs, the pacer bounced back in the second match to help India win by four runs and clinch the series.

The fast bowler successfully defended 17 runs in the last over as Ireland finished on 221/5 chasing a target of 226.

Hardik said he backed Umran to do the job as the cricketer possesses tearaway pace.

“Wanted to keep pressure out of my equation, wanted to be in the present. I backed Umran since he has pace. With his pace, it’s difficult for people to hit,” Hardik said in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Hardik was also full of praise for the Ireland batters who took the game till the final ball of the match.

“I think we’ve come to play a game of cricket, so Ireland were going to show us what they have. Credit to them, they played amazing shots. At the same point of time, credit to our bowlers to cross the line. (Irish experience) The crowd was amazing. Their favourites boys were Dinesh and Sanju, great to see them enjoy them. Good for us to experience cricket in this part of the world too. Grateful to the fans,” he added.

Hardik, who is captaining India for the first time, also reflected on the series win and praised Player of the match Deepak Hooda who scored a century in the second T20I.

“As a child, it is everyone’s dream to play the country. At the same point of time, leading and getting first victory and now first series win is special. Also happy for (Deepak) Hooda as well, the way he batted. And Umran.”

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Deepak Hooda on his match-winning century vs Ireland: ‘I like playing aggressively’

Deepak Hooda’s blistering knock of 104 off just 57 helped India complete a series sweep over Ireland.


Deepak Hooda plays a shot during India vs Ireland second T20I. AFP

Deepak Hooda was the star performer for India as they completed a series sweep over Ireland with a four-run win in the second and final T20I on Tuesday. Hooda, batting at No 3, played a blistering knock of 104 from just 57 balls and helped India score 225/7 batting first.

Ireland were eventually restricted to 221/5.

Hooda’s knock comprised of nine fours and six maximums as he became only the fourth Indian men’s batter to score a T20I century after Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.

The 27-year-old cricketer who had scored the match-winning 47 not out in the first match was declared the Player of the Match and Player of the Series.

Reacting to his terrific knock, the Lucknow Super Giants player said that his promotion up the batting order has helped him play crucial innings.

“I am coming from a good IPL, I was trying to follow up the same performance here as well. I like playing aggressively. Batting up the order, I have the time, I try to play according to the situation,” Hooda said after the match.

He was also involved in a record 176-run stand for the second wicket with Sanju Samson who scored 77 off 42. Hooda praised his partner in the post-match presentation ceremony and also thanked the fans.

“Sanju is a childhood friend, we played U-19 together, I am happy for him as well. Ireland is very good, I enjoyed it a lot. Fans are superb here, I never feel like playing outside India. Yeah, the wicket is different, thanks to all the fans for the support.”

Hooda has been in top form off late. In the two-match series against Ireland, he scored a total of 151 runs. In the recently-concluded IPL 2022, he smashed 451 runs from 15 matches at a strike rate of 137 as LSG reached the playoffs in their debut campaign.

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India vs Ireland: Deepak Hooda and Sanju Samson’s carnage at Malahide leaves Cricket Twitter in awe

Deepak Hooda became only the fourth Indian to score a T20I ton and was ably supported by Sanju Samson (77) as India posted a commanding 225/7 in the 2nd T20I against Ireland.


India wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson smashed 77 off 42 balls, his maiden international half-century. Image credit: Twitter/@BCCI

Deepak Hooda produced a master-class knock, becoming only the fourth Indian to hit a T20 International century, as the visiting side posted a mammoth 225 for 7 against Ireland in the second and final match in Malahide on Tuesday.

During his maiden T20I ton (104 off 57 balls), Hooda showed he belonged to the big stage with his scintillating stroke play, both off the front and the backfoot.

While Hooda was elegant and at ease on the frontfoot, he was equally good on the backfoot, dispatching the ball over the midwicket boundary for a few sixes.

Hooda decorated his knock with nine 4s and six hits over the fence. He was ably supported by Sanju Samson, who, opening the batting in place of injured Ruturaj Gaikwad, played second fiddle but grabbed his opportunity with both hands.

Samson made 77 off 42 balls with the help of nine boundaries and four sixes.

Both Hooda and Samson’s strokeplay down the ground were a treat for the eyes.

But India did not have the best of starts as they lost Ishan Kishan (3) early in the third over. The left-handed opener wasted an opportunity, nicking a Mark Adair delivery to Lorcan Tucker behind the stumps in the third over.

Hooda and Samson joined hands and the duo batted effortlessly, albeit handing two difficult chances, to share 176 runs off just 85 balls to lay the foundation for India’s huge total.

It was a one-way traffic after Kishan’s dimissal as Hooda and Samson toyed with the Irish bowlers and did not let them settle down.

Except for a difficult chance that Paul Stirling dropped at extra-cover in the eighth over, Hooda played a perfect knock.

The Twitterati as usual blew out of proportions. Here’s how Twitter reacted to India’s batting display in the series finale at The Village:

With inputs from PTI

Click here to follow live coverage of India vs Ireland 2nd T20I in Malahide

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India vs Ireland: Deepak Hooda and Sanju Samson record partnership, propel visitors to massive total

The two put up a partnership of 176 runs in just 87 deliveries at a strike rate of more than 200.


Samson scored 67 of 34 balls, while Hooda contributed 98 of just 53 deliveries. Twitter @ BCCI

Deepak Hooda and Sanju Samson broke the record for India’s highest partnership in T20Is to help the visitors post a commanding 225/7 against Ireland at Malahide on Tuesday.

The partnership also broke the record of the highest second-wicket partnership in all T20Is.

Samson scored 67 of 34 balls, while Hooda contributed 98 of just 53 deliveries to the second-wicket partnership. The two put up a partnership of 176 runs in just 87 deliveries at a strike rate of more than 200.

India lost Ishan Kishan at the start of the third over with just 13 on board. However, the duo of Hooda and Samson took off from there and never looked back.

In the process, they broke the record for the highest second-wicket partnership in all T20Is, breaking the previous best — an unbroken 167 between Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan against South Africa in Cape Town in 2020.

The partnership was also the highest for India for any wicket in T20Is, surpassing the previous best of 165 between Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. The earlier record was for the first wicket against Sri Lanka in Indore in 2017.

Samson started on a comparatively slower note and played a second fiddle to Hooda. Hooda who continued from where he left off in the first match on Sunday, punished the bowlers to all the parts of the ground.

Hooda pulled the short-pitched deliveries, played lofted drives to good-length of half volley deliveries, and cut or sliced anything bowled on the off-stump.

Samson soon joined Hooda in the boundary riot and hit nine 4s and four 6s in his innings of 77.

Hooda also scored his maiden international century after Samson got out. He hit nine 4s and six 6s in his innings of 104. Hooda also became only the fourth Indian batter to score a century in T20Is after Suresh Raina, KL Rahul, and Rohit Sharma.

India finished their innings at 225 for the loss of seven wickets as the middle order collapsed in the last three overs. However, the second-wicket partnership made sure that India had their fourth-highest total in T20Is.

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