Hello and welcome to the daily round-up of all the major stories happening in the cricketing world today.
First up is possible and much talked about the return of former Indian captains Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni together on a cricketing pitch. Moving on to current Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, who stated that he is ready to sacrifice his batting spot to accommodate in-form players.
In IPL news, 48-year old Pravin Tambe might miss IPL 2020 due to his involvement in a foreign domestic league and lastly, the Indian team for the T20 series against New Zealand sees wicket-keeper Sanju Samson missing out on a spot.
Here is a look at those stories in detail.
#1 Dhoni and Tendulkar approached to play bushfire relief game
Indian cricket heavyweights, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni are in line to play the Fundraising Bushfire Cricket League under the captaincy of either Shane Warne or Ricky Ponting.
In an attempt to bring together the cricketing community to help those affected by the bushfire in Australia, a charity match involving Australia and the world's best players under one roof is being planned. According to spinner Shane Warne, both Dhoni and Tendulkar have been approached to play in the charity match and the officials are awaiting confirmation. He said -
“Hopefully a few (more) big names will get involved as well.”
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting also echoed Warne's statements and stated that the tragedy needed help from all quarters of the community, including cricket. He said:
“From all sorts, whether it be music, film, TV or sports from different codes. We’re trying to put together an eclectic group, a diverse group that people will identify with.”
#2 Kohli contemplates moving down the order in ODIs
In what could be a big step in his batting career, Indian skipper Virat Kohli stated that he was open to moving down the batting order if India needed the services of the opening trio of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul in the same match.
Speaking ahead of the pre-match press conference before the first ODI against Australia in Mumbai, Virat Kohli said -
“Look, a guy in form is always good for the team. You obviously want to have the best players available and then chose what the combination should be for the team. There might be a possibility that all three (Rohit, Shikhar, and Rahul) might play.”
In 182 innings at the number three spot in ODIs, Kohli has scored 9509 runs at an average of 63.39 with 36 hundred. Despite a stupendous record, Kohli is ready to sacrifice the spot for the sake of accommodating in-form players like KL Rahul. He said -
“It will be interesting to see what balance we want to take in on the field... Yeah, big possibility. I would be very happy to do so. Look I am not possessive about where I play. I am not insecure about where I bat.”
#3 Kohli feels team is ready for day-night Tests
Indian captain Virat Kohli has revealed that the Test side is ready to face more pink-ball encounters in the future. Speaking to the reporters, Kohli reiterated his stance on day-nights tests, stating it as an exciting and challenging addition to the longest format of the game.
Speaking ahead of Australia's tour to India, Kohli stated -
“We played the day & night test here (India), we are happy with how it went. It has become a very exciting feature of any test series, we are open to playing day & night tests. We are ready for the challenge.”
The Indian team played its first day-night Test in Kolkata recently, four years after its inception. However, Kohli explained the importance of practice games towards the build-up of a pink-ball Test and said -
"Whenever it is held (Day/Night Test), there should be a practice game before."
#4 Pravin Tambe unlikely to play IPL 2020
According to a BCCI official, Tambe didn't adhere to BCCI's rules of refraining from playing in foreign domestic tournaments or taking prior permission. Tambe, who was snapped up for 20 lakhs by KKR, might have to bid goodbye to IPL as it is understood that the BCCI are not keen on changing their policies towards foreign cash-rich leagues anytime soon. The BCCI official said -
“As per board policy, only retired players can take part in overseas leagues."
Pravin Tambe has played 38 IPL matches and taken 28 wickets at an impressive economy of 7.75 and an average of 30.46.
#5 BCCI announce T20 squad for NZ tour, Sanju Samson misses out
The Indian T20 side for the New Zealand tour was announced recently as wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson failed to find a spot while LOI formats vice-captain, Rohit Sharma and Mohammad Shami returned after being rested for the Sri Lanka series at home.
Samson, who only got one opportunity against Sri Lanka in the recently concluded T20 series, fell for six and has yet again failed to land a spot in the squad.
India play five T20Is between January 24 and February 2 against New Zealand.
T20I squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur.