Mickey Arthur lauds Virat Kohli, cites him as an example to Pakistan players

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Arthur believes Kohli is the best batsman in the world currently.

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur believes India’s Virat Kohli is currently the best batsman in the world and has used him as an example to inspire the players in his side.

Kohli is currently ranked as the No1 batsman in both the ODI and the Test formats and has continued his stellar form of late into 2018. The India skipper recently notched up his 24th ton in the first Test against the West Indies to move past Australia’s Steve Smith who is currently serving an international ban.

While speaking to Telegraph India, Arthur praised Kohli’s dedication to his craft and his desire to improve himself constantly.

“Virat’s hunger and desire to be the best sets him apart from the rest. Everything Virat does is almost fanatical. The way he lives his life, trains and plays his cricket. For Virat, it’s about becoming the best he can be. I have used Virat as an example for my players. The way he changed his lifestyle, the accent on fitness. I have enjoyed watching Virat grow as a cricketer,” the South African stated.

Arthur wants Pakistan's players to take a cue from Kohli.

Arthur wants Pakistan’s players to take a cue from Kohli.

“Virat’s the best in the world. Purely as somebody passionate about cricket, he’s one of three batsmen I’d pay a lot of money to watch — AB de Villiers and David Warner being the other two. AB has retired completely from international cricket and Warner is currently ineligible to play for Australia.  So, Virat’s the only one playing international cricket and that too all three formats. Kane Williamson, I should add, is in the same league,” he added.

When asked to give his thoughts on the IPL continuing to shun Pakistan players, Arthur replied, “I’ll only say that the likes of Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman and Shadab Khan would bring good value to the IPL.”

The 50-year-old also credited the Pakistan Super League (PSL) for significantly impacting the quality of players coming though the country’s setup.

“The PSL has allowed us to look at a wider pool of cricketers and they’ve been getting used to handling situations of pressure in front of big crowds. The domestic players are learning from their overseas teammates. It’s a win-win situation,” Arthur explained.

Arthur’s men are currently locked in battle with Australia in the first Test of the two-match series at Dubai.

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Matthew Hayden sustains spinal injuries after surviving major surfing accident

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Matthew Hayden has 'dodged a bullet'.

Australia batting great Matthew Hayden admitted on Monday that he survived a major scare after sustaining spinal and head injuries during a surfing holiday in Queensland.

The former Australia opener was on a holiday with his family when he suffered the surfing accident on Friday after being taken in by a spill.

Hayden was subsequently rushed to the hospital for scans where it was revealed that he had fractured the C6 vertebrae in his spine while also tearing a few muscles in his neck. The 46-year-old also suffered a bloodied head following his ordeal.

“Last attention seeking post, I promise,”Hayden wrote on Instagram on Sunday night.

“Just wanted to say a big thank you to all our mates on Straddie who have been so supportive.

“Safe to say I truly have dodged a bullet. On the road to recovery.”

This is not the first time that the former Australia batsman has been involved in a water-based accident.

In 1999, Hayden and his Australia team-mate Andrew Symonds had to swim more than a kilometre back to shore after their fishing boat sank in the Moreton Bay.

The left-hander is considered to be one of the finest Test openers in the history of the game. In 103 Tests for Australia, Hayden registered 8,625 runs at an average greater than 50 with the help of 30 tons and 29 half-centuries.

The Aussie great hung up his boots in 2009 with his final Test appearance coming against South Africa in Sydney.

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Chris Gayle declines selection for West Indies' ODI series against India

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Gayle will not feature in West Indies' tour of India.

West Indies stalwart Chris Gayle has declined to make himself available for selection for the side’s upcoming ODI series against India.

The explosive opening batsman has also made himself unavailable for West Indies’ subsequent tour of Bangladesh. The 39-year-old, however, will be available for selection for West Indies’ home series against England as well as the 2019 ICC World Cup next year.

Gayle called time on his first-class career on Saturday with a match-winning century for Jamaica in his swansong.

While Gayle’s services will be missed by the Caribbean outfit in the ODI series against India, Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo have made a return to the T20I squad.

Both the players have had contract disagreements with Cricket West Indies in the past but have been welcomed back to the squad after a period in the cold. Pollard has not played a T20 for West Indies since September last year while Bravo’s last appearance in the format came all the way back in 2014.

The visitors will also have to make do without the services of star all-rounder Andre Russell for the ODI series due to an injury. Russell, though, has been included in the squad for the three T20s.

The Windies board plan to use the T20 series against India as a preparation board for the ICC World Twenty20 in 2020 with several young faces included in the squad.

“With the 2020 ICC World T20 two years away and the limited amount of T20 Internationals within the next year, the panel believes at this juncture it is time to invest in the young players that have emerged over the last two years from Windies A and B teams, along with 2018 CPL,” chairman of selection panel Courtney Browne said during the squad announcement.

Following the completion of the ongoing two-Test series between India and the West Indies, the two sides will clash in five ODIs before playing three T20s.

Jason Holder will lead the Caribbean side in the ODIs while Kraigg Brathwaite will take the reins for the T20s.

WINDIES ODI SQUAD

Jason Holder (c), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Oshane Thomas

WINDIES T20 SQUAD

Carlos Brathwaite (c), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Oshane Thomas

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