Cricket News Today: MS Dhoni opens up on run-out against New Zealand, Hardik Pandya's trainer denies all-rounder failing fitness test and more - 12th January, 2020

Shashwat.Kumar

MS Dhoni

Hello and welcome to the daily round-up of all the major narratives dominating the cricketing world on the 12th of January.

A number of interesting news came to the fore on Sunday as India announced its side for the ICC Women’s World T20 while there were also a few snippets regarding the Men In Blue’s upcoming tour of New Zealand.

Furthermore, MS Dhoni opened up on that semi-final defeat against New Zealand at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup whereas another veteran, Lasith Malinga also talked about the possibility of quitting captaincy post Sri Lanka’s shattering 2-0 T20I series defeat against India. 

Here is a look at those stories in detail.

#1 MS Dhoni reveals regret of World Cup semi-final against New Zealand

Dhoni tragically fell short of his ground

For the first time since the defeat to New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final, MS Dhoni opened up on his dismissal, which eventually acted as the final nail in the Indians’ coffin.

Also see – Ranji points table

Speaking about that incident, the wicket-keeper said that he regretted his decision to not dive. He quipped,

I keep telling myself, why didn’t I dive. Those two inches I keep telling myself, 'MS Dhoni, you should have dived.'

Full article: I keep telling myself why didn’t I dive: MS Dhoni recalls the World Cup semi-final run-out

Since that game, the former India captain hasn’t represented the nation, meaning that his absence has generated an enormous amount of speculation about his potential return. Subsequently, the aforementioned topic has been debated well into several nights and Sunil Gavaskar became the most recent legend to provide his views on the matter. He opined,

He has not made himself available to play for India since July 10. That is the important point. Does anyone keep himself away from playing for India for that long? That is the question and therein lies the answer.

 Full article: Sunil Gavaskar questions MS Dhoni’s long leave from Indian Cricket Team

#2 Hardik Pandya’s fielding coach denies all-rounder’s failed fitness test

Hardik Pandya

After reports had surfaced regarding Hardik Pandya allegedly failing a fitness test, his trainer S Rajnikath came out and explicitly stated that the all-rounder was 100% fit and that he had decided not to participate in the upcoming India A series against New Zealand A in order to manage his workload better. He also elaborated that Hardik had neither been asked to undergo a fitness test nor did he fail to clear any such task outlined by the BCCI.

Rajnikanth further added,

But that's not because he's not fit or has failed any test. He's fit, he can score a 20 in yoyo right now. He's doing his 20 meters too, effortlessly. Why I pulled him out is because of his bowling. That is still work in progress - the bowling workload at the international level. 

Full article: Hardik Pandya’s trainer says the all-rounder has not failed any fitness test

#3 India name squad for ICC Women’s World T20

Harmanpreet Kaur will captain India at the ICC Women's World T20

On the 12th of January, the BCCI announced a 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC Women’s World T20. On expected lines, the squad featured the likes of Jemimah Rodrigues, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav and Smriti Mandhana with Harmanpreet Kaur entrusted with captaincy duties.

Shafali Verma, India’s newest batting sensation, also found herself in the mix whereas Bengal middle-order batswoman, Richa Ghosh was also called up into the squad for the mega event.

ICC Women's World T20 Squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodriguez, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Richa Ghosh, Tania Bhatia, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gaikwad, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy.

Full article: BCCI announces Indian Women’s World T20 squad; Harmanpreet Kaur to lead

#4 Navdeep Saini in line for Test call-up

Navdeep Saini could get a Test call-up

After impressing with the ball in the recent white-ball series against Sri Lanka and the West Indies, there seems a real possibility that Navdeep Saini might be called up into India’s Test squad for the tour to New Zealand.

The fast-bowler, who is yet to make his Test bow, was part of the national squad for the one-off game against Afghanistan in 2018, wherein he was roped in as a replacement for Mohammed Shami.

With Bhuvenshwar Kumar out of action and Jasprit Bumrah only returning to full fitness recently, Saini could be preferred, especially taking into consideration Bumrah’s workload. 

Full article: Navdeep Saini likely to get Test call-up for India's tour of New Zealand

#5 Lasith Malinga contemplates quitting captaincy after India series

Malinga endured a poor series against India

A few days ago, India consigned Sri Lanka to a chastening 2-0 series defeat at Indore. The rubber only highlighted the vast gulf in class between the two outfits as the Islanders were simply no match for the hosts.

Subsequently, countless questions were asked of skipper Lasith Malinga who also endured a pretty sub-standard outing. However, the pacer quipped that he was willing to surrender captaincy, in light of his dire recent displays. He said,

I am ready any time. I am ready to quit.

Moreover, there have been murmurs of Malinga having lost the dressing room, with people pointing towards his treatment of Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera as a potential source of frustration. 

Full article: Lasith Malinga ready to quit after series loss to India