MS Dhoni lauds praise on India pace bowling attack despite South Africa Test defeat

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Dhoni believes Kohli has an attack capable of picking up 20 wickets anywhere.

Despite having lost the Test series to South Africa after defeat in the second match at Centurion, former skipper MS Dhoni believes India can take some positives from the performance of their bowling attack.

Speaking at the sidelines of an event, the limited-overs stalwart told the Associated Press that Virat Kohli and his men can take comfort from the fact that they now have a bowling attack capable of picking up 20 wickets in overseas pitches.

“To win a Test match, you need to take 20 wickets, we have taken 20 wickets. If you can’t take 20 wickets, the next option is to draw a Test match. How you can draw a Test match is by giving less runs and by scoring runs. Third option is there is no option because you are always looking for a win,” Dhoni said.

“If you cannot take 20 wickets, you cannot win a Test irrespective of where you play — at home or outside. That’s a biggest positive, that we are taking 20 wickets,” the wicket-keeper batsman added.

India's bowlers have picked up 20 wickets in both of the Tests so far.

India’s bowlers have picked up 20 wickets in both of the Tests so far.

In both the Test defeats so far on the tour, India have managed to wipe out the opposition in both innings but it has been their weakness in batting which has let them down.

Dhoni was of the opinion that overseas victories are not far away if the side could sort out the batting.

“When we can take 20 wickets, this means we are always in a position to win Test match. Once you start scoring runs, you will be there,” the 36-year-old said to conclude.

The third and final Test between the two sides will get underway on January 24 before the attention shifts to the limited-overs series.

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Player ratings as England's Chris Woakes gets a nine but a five for Steve Smith in second ODI

Ashish Peter 19/01/2018
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Chris Woakes passed with flying colours in all departments.

England‘s limited-overs side, once again, made the Ashes seem like a distant memory after cruising to a four-wicket victory in the second ODI at Brisbane.

Australia‘s opener Aaron Finch scored a second consecutive ton to set the hosts up nicely after Steve Smith won the toss and elected to bat first but England’s bowlers applied the brakes towards the death overs.

The visitors endured some tense moments in a chase of 271 but their plethora of all-round talent shone through in the end as they eased to a 2-0 lead in the series.

Here, we look at the player ratings from the Gabba after another disappointing outing for the hosts.

AUSTRALIA

David Warner 6: The deputy skipper got off to a good start as he put on a 68-run opening stand with Aaron Finch. However, he failed to capitalise with an innocuous dismissal off the bowling of Moeen Ali.

Aaron Finch 9: With back-to-back ODI tons, Finch is going through a purple patch. In the process of doing so, he became the quickest Australian to 10 one-day hundreds but his dismissal sparked a late collapse as the hosts failed to kick on.

Finch continued from where he left off at Melbourne.

Finch continued from where he left off at Melbourne.

Steve Smith 5: The Australian skipper also got off to a decent start but he was undone by the part-time off-spin of Joe Root to be trapped plumb on the pads for just 18.

Travis Head 3: The middle-order batsman had a game to forget as he failed miserably with the bat. After being tied down by the English bowlers, he charged down the wicket to Root only to offer a simple return catch to the part-timer.

Mitchell Marsh 6: The younger of the Marsh siblings was involved in a 85-run stand with Finch for the fourth wicket. Was looking good for a fifty before being bamboozled by the turn generated by Adil Rashid and stumped by a country mile for 36.

Marcus Stoinis 4: A disappointing day for the Aussie all-rounder as he failed to click with both bat and ball. He failed to deal with Rashid’s leg-spin and was caught behind by Jos Buttler for just four before going wicketless with the ball in hand.

Cameron White 5: Came into bat at number seven surprisingly and did not have enough time to create an impact. He remained unbeaten on 15 as wickets kept tumbling around him and was not given a go with the ball on a pitch which had something for the spinners.

Alex Carey 6: A solid yet unspectacular debut for the glovesman as he replaced Tim Paine who was ruled out with an illness. Played a decent cameo of 27 towards the death overs and was reliable behind the stumps.

Mitchell Starc 8: With a relatively inexperienced Aussie bowling attack around him, Starc did the best he could to halt England’s march with four scalps in his 10 overs. His double strike in his final over of the day made it a nervy finish for the tourists.

Starc's four wickets gave Australia a glimmer of hope.

Starc’s four wickets gave Australia a glimmer of hope.

Andrew Tye 5: The medium pacer brought his usual variations to the fore on a flat Gabba pitch but was unable to do any damage as England’s batsmen dealt with his threat fairly comfortably. Tye was unable to put pressure on the visitors and failed to pick up a wicket in an unspectacular spell.

Jhye Richardson 7: The debutant made the most of his opportunity after replacing Josh Hazlewood in the bowling attack. He removed Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow in successive overs after the two Englishmen were threatening to make a mockery of Australia’s total.

ENGLAND

Jason Roy 3: After touching new highs with a record-breaking 180 at Melbourne, Roy had to taste the lows as he was dismissed for just two runs while trying to flick Starc on the on-side.

Alex Hales 7: Gave England the perfect start in their chase despite losing Roy early on as he combined with Bairstow for a 117-run stand for the second wicket. He was looking in complete control before dragging on Richardson’s delivery onto the stumps to become the debutant’s maiden ODI scalp.

Hales got England off to a great start in the chase.

Hales got England off to a great start in the chase.

Jonny Bairstow 7: Like Hales, Bairstow looked to be on top of the Aussie bowling from the get-go and was looking extremely fluent. He dismissal, however, was loose as he drove a fuller Richardson delivery straight to cover.

Joe Root 9: The England Test skipper showed why he is such a force to be reckoned with in the ODI format with an all-round performance. He accounted for the wickets of Smith and Head with his gentle off-spinners before guiding England home from a tricky position in the chase with his calm head.

Eoin Morgan 6: The England skipper got off to a rollicking start in his innings as he brought out the trademark flick off his pads for a six. He chopped on Starc’s delivery onto his stumps however as the tourists were put through some tense moments in the middle of their innings.

Jos Buttler 7: The swashbuckling batsman was in his element as he raced away to 42 off just 31 deliveries but there was nothing he could do to a ripper of a delivery from Starc which took an outside edge off his bat on the way to Carey.

Moeen Ali 6: It was a mixed return for the England all-rounder with his off-spin keeping Australia’s batsmen at bay. He picked up the wicket of Warner but could score only one run with the bat before being bowled by Starc.

Chris Woakes 9: Along with Root, he was the star for England with an all-round showing. Woakes was very good with the ball with figures of 1-37 and he backed it up with great fielding to help conjure up two run-outs off his own bowling. He came out with the bat to finish the job for England with an unbeaten 39 off just 27 deliveries.

Woakes was unstoppable on the day.

Woakes was unstoppable on the day.

Adil Rashid 7: The leg-spinner went for quite a few runs early into his spell but then settled quickly to put the brakes on Australia’s scoring. He chipped in with the two wickets of Marsh and Stoinis to finish on a high.

Liam Plunkett 7: It was a typical ODI performance from the England pacer. He was difficult to get away with his tight lines and variations and sent back the centurion, Finch. He finished with 1-34 from his eight overs.

Mark Wood 5: It wasn’t the best of games for the England quick after his impressive return to action in the first ODI. Went wicketless at just over run-a-ball as Australia’s openers took a liking to his pace.

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Joe Root's all-round show leads England to four-wicket win over Australia

Ashish Peter 19/01/2018
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Root's part-time off-spin proved too hot to handle for the Aussies.

England once again showed their limited-overs prowess as they cantered home to a comfortable victory by four wickets over Australia in the second ODI at Brisbane to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Australia handed ODI debuts to Jhye Richardson and Alex Carey as they replaced the illness-struck Josh Hazlewood and Tim Paine respectively.

The hosts were restricted to 270-9 after electing to bat first at the Gabba and in reply, the tourists ran out victors with over five overs to spare.

Here, we look at the good and bad performances which stood in the clash of the two old rivals.

THE GOOD

AARON FINCH BECOMES FASTEST AUSSIE TO 10 ODI TONS

Having scored 107 in Australia’s defeat during the first ODI at Melbourne, Finch continued from where he left off as he, along with David Warner, gave the hosts a solid start.

It wasn’t gung-ho attacking cricket from the opening batsman as he looked to build for another long stay at the crease but nevertheless, it kept Australia ticking at a steady rate. Finch was typically strong on the leg-side as he brought up his 10th one-day century and second in succession.

In doing so, he became the quickest Aussie to the mark – taking only 83 innings – to better the record set by his opening partner Warner (85 innings). In the end, it remained the only score of note in Australia’s batting card as they lost their way in the death overs to end up with a slightly under-par total.

Finch's landmark ODI ton was one of the only positive for Australia.

Finch’s landmark ODI ton was one of the only positive for Australia.

JOE ROOT TURNS IN AN ALL-ROUND PERFORMANCE

The England Test skipper has been in great form in the ODI format for the past year or so and would have been gutted to miss out on the ICC ODI team of the year announced on Thursday. He, however, served the cricketing world a timely reminder of his prodigious talent with an all-round show at the Gabba.

Root’s part-time off-spin did the trick on Friday as he trapped Steve Smith on the pads with a delivery that turned in sharply into the right-hander. He then deceived Travis Head with the flight as the Aussie batsman charged down the wicket to complete a fairly straightforward caught and bowled dismissal.

Root then saw England home with the bat, keeping a calm head after the hosts had come back strongly with a clutch of late wickets. His unbeaten 46 off 58 deliveries was just what England needed after suffering a minor collapse.

Root saw England home with the bat after a minor collapse.

Root saw England home with the bat after the loss of quick wickets.

THE BAD

AUSTRALIA COLLAPSE IN A HEAP TOWARDS THE DEATH

Finch’s century had given the hosts a strong platform to launch away at the death with the score reading 208-3 after 39 overs. However, in their quest to up the scoring rate, the hosts came undone towards the end of their innings with wickets falling in a heap.

After a 85-run stand between them for the fourth wicket, Mitchell Marsh and Aaron Finch departed in quick succession to start Australia’s collapse. The likes of Marcus Stoinis, Cameron White and Carey were unable to apply the strong finish Steve Smith’s men desperately needed as they struggled to accelerate.

Only 62 runs came in the final 11 overs, at the cost of six wickets, as England went into the chase with their tails well and truly up.

England's bowlers kept a tight leash on the Aussies in the death overs.

England’s bowlers kept a tight leash on the Aussies in the death overs.

AUSTRALIA MISS A TRICK WITH SPIN

On a pitch where England’s spinners had prospered, so much so that even Root chipped in with two wickets, the hosts missed a big trick as they went in with an all-pace attack.

Adam Zampa was dropped for Cameron White and the Aussies dearly missed a slow-bowler to half England’s march on a flatbed in Brisbane. Surprisingly, White was not given a bowl despite his leg-spinning credentials as England pulled away to a comfortable win at the end.

Smith also had the option of using Head’s part-time spin on the surface but opted against doing so as he chose to rely on the pacers throughout the innings.

Seeing the final outcome, the Australia skipper will be wondering if he got his selection entirely wrong on Friday.

Smith will be ruing not playing a specialist spinner on Friday.

Smith will be ruing not playing a specialist spinner.

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