Kapil Dev urges Virat Kohli to play county cricket to improve record in England

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Kapil Dev wants Kohli to be able to score runs in every condition.

Former India skipper Kapil Dev has advised Virat Kohli to test his mettle in the county cricket circuit if he wants to prepare himself for the tour of England.

The legendary all-rounder had led India to their maiden ICC World Cup crown in 1983, on English soil. While speaking to the British media, Kapil Dev emphasised on the point that Kohli should be able to score runs in all conditions to be considered a true great of the game.

“Practice makes a man perfect. One has to practise those conditions,” he said.

“The bar which we as cricketers set for these people is that you have to be good in all conditions. That’s what we used to say about Allan Border or Vivian Richards or Sunil Gavaskar – they were players to play any part, anywhere, any kind of conditions, they used to perform.

“Virat Kohli, the question mark is in front of him, it’s there. He has to get runs where it is considered to be the toughest conditions in the world.”

India are slated to tour England in June this year n for five Tests, as many ODIs and a sole T20. Kohli, who has been scoring run for fun of late, has a dismal record in England compared to his remarkable numbers in other parts of the world.

The right-handed batsman had averaged a measly 13.4 on his last tour of the country in 2014.

The 29-year-old has previously expressed his desire to test himself in county cricket. However, with his commitments to the Indian Premier League (IPL), it will be a difficult call for the Indian skipper to make since it clashes with the county season.

Kapil Dev believes a season or two in county cricket could do Kohli a world of good.

Kapil Dev led India to its first World Cup title in 1983.

Kapil Dev led India to its first World Cup title in 1983.

“What we’re seeing, with his temperament, I think he’s good enough. It all depends if he gets a good start. He has the ability,” he stated.

“If he can play a season or two in English county cricket there would be nothing wrong, because if you want to be the best player in the world you have to get runs everywhere.”

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma have signed up for county teams for the 2018 season after missing out on the IPL auctions earlier.

Previously, many Indian stalwarts have tried their hand in England’s domestic competition. The likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Rahul Dravid and Ravichandran Ashwin have all had various stints in county cricket over the course of their careers.

While his multi-million dollar deal with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL means it is impossible that the Indian superstar will play county cricket any time soon, it would be great to see Kohli take up the challenge of county cricket somewhere down the line.

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David Warner accepts charges by match referee, free to play in second Test against South Africa

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The Australian deputy skipper has not contested the charges against him.

David Warner will be available to play the second Test between South Africa and Australia after accepting a Level 2 sanction from ICC match referee Jeff Crowe for his spat with Quinton de Kock.

The Australian deputy skipper’s ugly verbal row with the Proteas wicket-keeper was revealed as leaked CCTV footage of the incident was released on the fourth day of the opening Test between the two sides at Durban.

The video showed Warner having to be physically restrained by his team-mates as he tried to confront the South African on the way to the dressing rooms during the tea interval.

The volatile character has come under fire from several former players, including ex-South Africa skipper Graeme Smith, for his disciplinary problems.

Warner has now accepted his role for the Level 2 breach of ICC’s code of conduct which has been accompanied by a fine of 75 per cent of his match fees or approximately $13,500. He will also receive three ICC demerit points for his offence, meaning he will be free to take part in the second Test at Port Elizabeth.

Four demerit points in the space of 24 months would mean the Australian being automatically suspended for one Test or two ODIsT20Is, whichever comes first.

De Kock had been handed a Level 1 charge by the match referee for bringing the game into disrepute for his part in the spat. Both the players had 24 hours to respond to the charges. While Warner and the Australians have accepted the charges, it remains to be seen if South Africa will do the same for de Kock.

The visitors had claimed a 118-run victory in the opening Test to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. The second Test at Port Elizabeth gets underway on Friday.

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New Zealand vs England: Colin Munro's baffling review and Ross Taylor's epic hundred stand out in thrilling fourth ODI

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Colin Munro was in the thick of things in the fourth ODI.

New Zealand pipped England by five wickets in a thriller of a fourth ODI at Dunedin to tie the five-match series at 2-2.

In a high-scoring affair, the Blackcaps got over the line with three balls to spare as they chased down England’s huge total of 335-9.

In a match where fortunes oscillated between either sides at various stages, we look at the good and the bad.

THE GOOD

Taylor’s Epic

That Ross Taylor is playing the best cricket of his career at the moment is no exaggeration. His century and partnership with Tom Latham had been pivotal in the hosts clinching the first ODI at Hamilton.

On Wednesday, he found himself at the batting crease fairly early with New Zealand rocking at 2-2. Following the departure of Kane Williamson, Taylor once again combined with Latham to put on a momentum-shifting partnership of 187 runs.

Injuring himself while putting in a dive shortly after reaching his 19th ODI century, Taylor continued to soldier on in admirable fashion despite limping. He smashed six sixes and 17 boundaries on his way to an unbeaten 147-ball 181 as he stayed until the very end to see the hosts home.

Taylore soldiered on despite an injury to see his side home.

Taylore soldiered on despite an injury to see his side home.

Sodhi halts England charge

On a pitch which was excellent for batting, England got off to a flier after Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to bat first. Ish Sodhi broke a threatening 77-run opening stand by removing Jason Roy but England asserted control over proceedings with a 190-run partnership between Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root.

The pair eventually fell in quick succession but England were poised to touch 400 with the batting still to come. Sodhi, however, made sure that the total would remain within manageable limits for the hosts with a three-wicket burst that broke the visitors’ middle-order.

He dismissed the dangerous Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali in quick succession to halt England’s momentum. Sodhi ultimately finished with figures of 4-58 in his 10 overs, truly excellent figures in the context of the match.

Sodhi's four-wicket haul turned the tide in England's innings.

Sodhi’s four-wicket haul turned the tide in England’s innings.

THE BAD

England’s middle-order loses initiative

At 267-1 in the 38th over, the tourists were well places to inflict further misery on the hosts as we entered the death overs. It all came undone for England, however, as they lost wickets in a heap in their pursuit to up the scoring-rate even further.

Buttler, Stokes and Morgan all fell while trying to play ambitious shots as England were suddenly reduced to 280-6. Tom Curran landed a few blows towards the end, but in hindsight, it was too little, too late.

Morgan’s men only scored 68 runs for the loss of eight wickets in their final 12 overs, a period which eventually cost them the match.

The likes of Stokes were guilty of squandering England's advantage.

The likes of Stokes were guilty of squandering England’s advantage.

Munro’s wasted review

Chasing 336, a lot of responsibility rested on the shoulders of Colin Munro and Martin Guptill to get New Zealand off to a good start. It wasn’t to be though, with the former perishing for a duck as  Curran trapped him lbw with his very first delivery.

Munro failed to connect with the ball as he attempted to lazily flick Curran’s in-swinger over the leg-side and was struck on the pads. It looked dead plumb to the naked eye as the umpire raised his finger but, Munro bafflingly opted to review. Replays showed the ball to be crashing into the middle-stump, making Munro’s long back to the pavilion even more embarrassing.

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