India stalwart MS Dhoni celebrated his birthday on Saturday at Cardiff as he turned 37. The wicketkeeper-batsman could be seen cutting a cake at the team hotel in presence of the players and their spouses in a video posted by a fan account.
All across social media, birthday greetings have been pouring in for ‘Captain Cool’ with the likes of Suresh Raina, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Rashid Khan and Sikhar Dhawan all sending in their wishes for the veteran.
India skipper Virat Kohli was not going to be left behind with the 29-year-old taking to Twitter to post an image of Dhoni smeared with some birthday cake on his face. Kohli’s wife Anushka Sharma could also be seen in the image.
“Happy birthday Mahi Bhai. God bless you,” Kohli wrote on the Twitter post accompanying the image.
Happy birthday Mahi Bhai. God bless you. 💪💪😇 pic.twitter.com/YeuQ8k9oWb— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) July 7, 2018
Dhoni’s birthday was celebrated at the team hotel in Cardiff after India had tasted a five-wicket defeat at the hands of England in the second T20 at Sophia Gardens on Friday.
On Saturday, the BCCI posted a special video on Twitter in which the Indian players led by Kohli can be seen wishing the legend a happy birthday.
SPECIAL: From his teammates to someone very very special, wishes galore for @msdhoni as he celebrates his 37th birthday. Watch it till the end - Cuteness Alert! #HappyBirthdayMSDhoni— BCCI (@BCCI) July 7, 2018
The Ranchi-born stalwart had entered the record books on Friday as he became only the third Indian in history to make 500 international appearances across all formats for the country. Only Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid had achieved the feat previously amongst Indian players.
Legendary opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar has called KL Rahul the ‘next big thing’ in Indian cricket after his rollicking display during the side’s eight-wicket win over England in the first T20 at Manchester.
Rahul struck an unbeaten 54-ball 101 to blow the hosts away and Gavaskar could not stop gushing about the batsman’s performance in his column for the Times of India.
The 68-year-old praised Rahul and wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav who picked up a maiden five-wicket haul to trigger an England collapse.
“What they didn’t anticipate was the magic of Kuldeep Yadav, who quite literally had the English batsmen like puppets on a string. The deliveries with which he drew Bairstow and Joe Root forward, playing for the wrong turn, brought a hearty laugh from those who know of English batsmen’s struggles against wrist spin,” Gavaskar wrote in his column.
“Chahal (Yuzvendra) perhaps wasn’t able to grip the new ball and so wasn’t at his best but Kuldeep, brought in when Buttler (Jos) was rampaging, changed the game in a jiffy. It was magical,” Gavaskar added.
“Then came a mini-masterpiece from the bat of someone who is going to be the next big thing in Indian cricket. Right from his debut when he squared up against Mitchell Johnson on the last tour of Australia, KL Rahul has looked a class apart. The ease with which he tore into the English bowling was breathtaking and even had the Indian skipper clapping,” the legend wrote about Rahul’s innings.
India will be hoping Kuldeep and Rahul can repeat their heroics when the men in blue take on England in the second of the three T20s at Cardiff on Friday.
India ‘A’ batsman Prithvi Shaw continued to pile on the runs during the tour of England as he cracked 188 from just 169 deliveries against West Indies ‘A ‘in the first unofficial Test in Beckenham on Friday.
Shaw looked on course for a thoroughly deserved double century after starting the day on 101 from just 74 balls and the Indians on 159 for no loss. It was a great turnaround by the Indians who were shot out for just 133 in the first innings before the West Indians made 383 in the four-day match.
Shaw starred in two mega partnership – 181 for the opening wicket with Mayank Agarwal (69) and 158 for the second wicket with Ravi Samarth (who contributed 63 to the stand).
Shaw, still only 18, scored a staggering 28 boundaries and two sixes for a strike rate of 111. His attacking strokeplay ensured India maintained a scoring rate of more than six. The Indian A side was 344 for two in just 56 overs in the second session.
It was the third century of the tour for Shaw. He scored a century in a warm-up 50-over match against Leicestershire followed by a ton against West Indies ‘A’ in the 50-over tri-series which India won.
Shaw has a sensational record in first-class cricket. Before the West Indies match, Shaw had 10 first-class matches under his belt with four fifties and five centuries.