Glenn McGrath expects James Anderson to make Virat Kohli sweat during India's tour of England

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Kohli has struggled against James Anderson previously in England.

Virat Kohli’s battle with James Anderson will be one of the biggest highlights when India embark on their tour of England in July this year. The India skipper has struggled previously on English shores, especially against Anderson.

Kohli has been able to muster only 134 runs in his 10 previous Test innings in England at a dismal average of 13.40. According to former Australia pacer Glenn McGrath, the Indian batting stalwart will need to adapt to the conditions quickly in England if he is going to have any success this time round.

“Obviously, Kohli is a more experienced player this time around. There’s no doubt that he’s a quality batsman, but English conditions are pretty tough. When you have got a bowler like James Anderson who knows the conditions so well, it’s going to be a lot of hard work for Kohli,” McGrath was quoted as saying by the Times of India on the sidelines of a coaching stint in Chennai.

“He has got to be prepared to work hard. He can’t just go out and play his game and hit through the line. He has got to be able to adapt. I’m looking forward to that battle,” the Aussie great added.

While that upcoming individual battle has got McGrath excited, the Australian believes the duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah will hold the key to India’s fast-bowling hopes on English pitches.

McGrath believes Bumrah could shine in English conditions.

McGrath believes Bumrah could shine in English conditions.

“I think Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah will hold the key. Both of them have got pretty good control. That’s what you need in England. The duke ball has got a pronounced seam. If you get the ball in the right areas consistently, it will do a little bit throughout and they will do well,” McGrath stated.

The former pacer expressed confidence in the Indian bowling attack shining in England but stressed that it will be the batsmen who will need to step up.

“I actually think all the Indian pacers will have success in England. It’s just a question of the batsmen getting enough runs,” he said.

India are slated to play three ODIs and as many T20Is in their tour of England before signing off with a five-match Test series.

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New Zealand great Brendon McCullum rolls back the years as he returns to rugby

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Brendon McCullum is one of the finest cricketers and captains produced by New Zealand. But did you know that during his younger days as a rugby player, he kept a certain Dan Carter out of a secondary school team?

Now 36 and playing in various T20 leagues, McCullum returned to the sport he had given up nearly two decades ago as he played fullback for United Matamata Sports B in their derby clash against Hinuera B in the Waikato competition on Sunday.

“It was meant to be a bit of a soft entry from a contact point of view, but that was never going to happen given it was a local derby,” McCullum was quoted as saying by Radio Live. “I had to get through that first tackle and it may have been a little bit late, but it wasn’t too bad.”

After the game, McCullum said he was glad to play his first game of rugby after 18 years. The All Blacks responded to McCullum’s tweet, warning Carter to watch out!

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Afghanistan's Rashid Khan leads leg-spinners' T20I domination

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Rashid Khan is the leading T20I bowler in the world.

Leg-spinner Rashid Khan was once again the star of the show as Afghanistan beat Bangladesh by 45 runs in first T20I in Dehradun on Sunday.

The 19-year-old finished with figures of 3-13 from his three overs to hand the Afghans a 1-0 lead in the series. Rashid’s excellent display is the latest in a growing purple patch for leg-spinners in limited-overs cricket.

Once considered to be expendable in limited-overs cricket due to their propensity to leak runs, leg-spinners are now topping the ranking charts. The top five spots in the ICC T20I rankings are currently occupied by leg-spinners. Here, we take a look at these five bowlers.

5. SAMUEL BADREE (WEST INDIES)

The 37-year-old leg-spinner has been a mainstay of the West Indies T20I squad for some years now. Badree’s ability to bowl with supreme control during the powerplay has been his calling card.

The leg-spinner is a veteran of various T20 franchise leagues around the globe and has made 49 appearances for the West Indies. He is one of the trickiest customers to score runs against with an economy-rate of just 6.05.

Badree has always been highly economical.

Badree has always been economical.

4. ISH SODHI (NEW ZEALAND)

Ish Sodhi is another leg-spinner who has grown in stature in limited-overs cricket over the last few years. The India-born spinner recently made a huge impact for Rajasthan Royals in his maiden IPL stint after showing that same consistency with New Zealand.

The 25-year-old has a habit of picking up wickets in heaps with an average of 19.33 and a strike-rate of 15.60 in T20I cricket.

Sodhi had an excellent maiden IPL with Rajasthan Royals.

Sodhi had an excellent maiden IPL with Rajasthan Royals.

3. YUZVENDRA CHAHAL (INDIA)

Yuzvendra Chahal rose to prominence with the IPL and he has cemented his position in India’s limited-overs setup in no time. The 27-year-old’s lethal partnership with fellow wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has displaced India’s veteran spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja from the white-ball squad.

Chahal has picked up 35 wickets in just 21 T20I matches for India including a best of 6-25 against England.

Chahal has established himsel in India's limited-overs setup.

Chahal has established himself in India’s limited-overs setup.

2. SHADAB KHAN (PAKISTAN)

At just 19 years of age, Shadab Khan has already played 16 T20Is and 17 ODIs for Pakistan. The leg-spinner has enjoyed a meteoric rise since being handed his debut against the West Indies last year.

Shadab has managed to pick up his 24 wickets in T20I cricket at an astonishing average of 15.41 and a miserly economy-rate of just 6.28. Possesses an excellent googly in his arsenal to bamboozle the best of the batsmen.

Shadab Khan had an excellent 2017 for Pakistan.

Shadab Khan had an excellent 2017 for Pakistan.

1. RASHID KHAN (AFGHANISTAN)

The 19-year-old has been a breath of fresh air in the world of cricket. With 44 ODIs and 31 T20Is already under his belt, the teenager has a wealth of experience in limited-overs cricket and he has been in demand in all T20 leagues around the world.

Rashid’s record at the T20I level is incredible, with his 52 wickets coming at an astonishing average of just 13.57 and an economy-rate of 6.03.

Rashid Khan has taken T20 cricket by storm.

Rashid Khan has taken T20 cricket by storm.

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