Legendary Australian spin bowler, Shane Warne, recently announced a list of players who he feels constitute the best T20 XI in the world at present.
Without much surprise, India’s Test captain and prolific run-getter in this year’s Indian Premier League, Virat Kohli makes Warne’s list.
Giving the Indian captain company, are his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammates, AB de Villiers, Mitchell Starc, Shane Watson and Chris Gayle.
The XI that has a slew of all-rounders like Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo, includes Bangladesh’s prodigious talent, Mustafizur Rahman as well.
Warne, who is remembered for his successful stints in T20 leagues such as the IPL and the Big Bash League, posted the names of the players on his official Facebook page. In the recent past, the Aussie has also shared his version of India’s greatest Test XI.
Neville Madziva held his nerve as Zimbabwe claimed a dramatic two-run win in their first Twenty20 international against India.
India captain MS Dhoni had brought his side within eight runs of their 171-run target at Harare Sports Club entering the final over, but was unable to get the better of Madziva.
Zimbabwe’s total of 170 for six was built largely around Elton Chigumbura’s quickfire 54 from 26 balls, which included seven sixes, while Malcolm Waller weighed in with 30.
Manish Pandey (48) and Mandeep Singh (31) put India on course for victory and the odds seemed in their favour with Dhoni, who finished unbeaten on 19 from 17 balls, at the crease at the end.
But Madziva frustrated India, who comfortably won the recent one-day international series between the sides 3-0. He first removed Axar Patel (18), who had hit a six in the penultimate over, and then restricted Dhoni.
History has shown that talking big before a series isn't a great idea
It is perhaps only enhanced in cricket’s case, due to its titling as the ‘gentleman’s game’, but basic sporting etiquette demands that you have respect for your opponent.
Nevertheless, the game attracts its fair share of loud mouths. Individuals who were not averse to the odd outspoken remark, but who were also duly punished by cricket’s occasionally cruel habit of karmic retribution.
Here, Sport360 looks at five instances where big mouths were made to eat humble pie:
2016: MAKHAYA NTINI VOWS TO BURY UNDER-STRENGTH SIDES
Although his grievance was not just directed at Zimbabwe’s current opponents India, coach Makhaya Ntini demanded teams to send their best players when touring the country. Seemingly affronted by a raw, highly inexperienced Indian squad for their three match ODI series, Ntini declared that Zimbabwe would “put them under the carpet”. This, he claimed, would send them packing to “tell people that they need to send their strongest team.”
With India clinching the series after two heavy wins over the Zimbabweans, it’s safe to say Ntini is not making good on his threat.
Makhaya Ntini vowed to teach teams that sent second string sides to Zimbabwe a lesson.
2015: STEVE SMITH ‘WOULDN’T COME CLOSE’
This instance may be slightly more excusable, as winning an Ashes series 5-0 certainly gave Australia the right to crow a little. But a lot had changed in the interim. England were now prepared to salvage their broken pride and wrest the Ashes from the grubby fingers of the Australians.
Aussie captain Steve Smith was convinced it was just hot air. If the visitors could sustain their form over the past twelve to eighteen months, Smith didn’t think “they’ll come close to us to be honest”.
It proved to be an ill-fated assertion. The eventual margin of victory for England (3-2) suggested a close victory, but in reality England had strolled to three fairly comfortable victories, among them an innings victory at Trent Bridge with Australia dismissed for an appalling 60 in the first innings.
He was, at one time, a splendid steward of Indian cricket, but Greg Chappell’s taste for controversy eventually led to a bitter fall out and an inglorious exit from the group stages of the 2007 World Cup. India’s form had been unravelling in the year prior to cricket’s showpiece tournament in the West Indies, with the cracks first appearing during a tour of the Caribbean in mid-2006.
After a five-wicket win in the first ODI in Kingston, Chappell claimed the home side were out of practice and that they had “forgotten how to win at the moment”. He was in for a shock. The West Indies won the next four games to complete a stunning 4-1 reverse. Ranked at number eight in the world, Brian Lara’s men made Chappell’s remark look ill-advised and embarrassing.
Greg Chappell loved talking to the press and frequently made controversial statements.
2005: GLENN MCGRATH PROMISES ASHES WHITEWASH
Glenn McGrath has predicted a crushing 5-0 series victory for Australia in the Ashes in England. Nevertheless, in 2005, things had reached a quite depressing low for England and it did not seem far from impossible. England had not held the Ashes for 18 years and Australia had crushed them 4-1 in the previous series (2002-03).
McGrath was so confident of a clean sweep that he even suggested that England would be best suited to focussing on their later excursion to South Africa rather than their summer engagement with the Aussies. The move backfired, for McGrath himself suffered injuries and England came from behind to win 2-1 in one of the most memorable series ever played.
1976: TONY GREIG AND THE ‘GROVELLING’ EPISODE
The West Indies were the much-hyped visitors to England in the summer of 1976. The tourists arrived that May with a battery of ferocious fast bowlers – enough for the local press to build them up as serious challengers to the home side. His feathers ruffled by all this, English captain Tony Greig claimed that he intended, “with the help of Closey [Brian Close] and a few others, to make them grovel”.
The remark was hugely controversial, for its supposed racist nature, but it did not get the West Indies down. If anything, it only proved to fire the tourists up further. England surrendered the series meekly, crashing to a 0-3 defeat in the five-Test series.
Tony Greig was severely critcized for the racial undertone in his comments.
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