Dean Elgar was named South Africa’s new test captain on Thursday and Temba Bavuma will lead the team in limited-overs games.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock stepped down from both roles.
Bavuma, a 30-year-old top-order batsman, becomes the first Black African captain of South Africa and will be in charge for one-day internationals and Twenty20s until after the Cricket World Cup in 2023, Cricket South Africa said.
“Captaining the Proteas has been a dream of mine for many years as those closest to me would know,” he said in a statement from CSA.
Opening batsman Elgar has played 67 tests and had been touted as a permanent captain in tests. He had previously stepped in for former captain Faf du Plessis in five-day cricket. Bavuma will be Elgar’s vice captain in tests.
Longtime skipper du Plessis quit as test captain last year and retired from tests this year. De Kock had taken charge of the test team temporarily.
Although he was always only a temporary test captain, de Kock’s decision to give up the limited-overs captaincy, which he was awarded in 2019, was unexpected. He was granted a break from cricket last month following the tour to Pakistan, with reports saying he wanted time to look after his mental health after living in restrictive bio-bubbles for prolonged periods while cricket series took place during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We expect him to still play an integral role in the team’s leadership group,” CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith said of de Kock.
Test cricket is a game of patience and perseverance. Especially, batters have to show much endurance in the middle in order to stay firm at the crease. Those who can show real fighting spirit against tough bowling attacks in a pressure situation are considered to be the best batsmen in the Test format. Sometimes we see extraordinary game-changing knocks which fascinate cricket fans. This article highlights some of the memorable match-winning knocks in Tests.
We have seen many match-winning Test knocks in cricket history and understandably, identifying the best from the bests is always a difficult task. To keep that in mind, we have picked some present-day jaw-dropping innings that stunned the cricket world. So, without further ado, let’s look at some memorable match-winning knocks in Tests.
Everyone knew Mumbai’s Wankhede pitch would become a real nightmare for the batters from day 3, understandably Indian captain MS Dhoni didn’t have to think twice to bat first. India’s plan was to score big in the first innings and put pressure on the English batting line-up, but they only managed to score 327. This was the second Test and England was under pressure after losing the series opener.
The visitor had to respond well to stay alive in the contest. Kevin Pietersen rose up to the occasion and took an aggressive approach against a very strong India’s spin-heavy attack. Pietersen played all types of shots in his innings just to put India on backfoot and made a brilliant 186 off just 233 balls. England had nearly 100 runs first innings lead thanks to Pietersen's inspiring knock. The visitor eventually sealed the match by 10 wickets.
It was a do-or-die match for Pakistan after losing the first match by 10 wickets in Brisbane. The visiting side were in a good position to upset the host in the second Test in Hobart but a scintillating batting display by Adam Gilchrist completely changed the scenario of the game as Australia clinched the match as well as the series with a game in hand.
Pakistan set Australia a 369-run target in the fourth innings and picked up five Australian wickets in just 126 runs while defending the total. After that, it was all about Adam Gilchrist show. His 238 runs sixth wicket partnership with opener Justin Langer eased Australia to a 4-wicket victory. Gilchrist played an unbeaten 149*-run knock, truly a champion knock.
Graeme Smith single-handedly guided South Africa to the victory while chasing 281 runs in the fourth innings of the third Test against England back in 2008. It should be mentioned that Smith was playing with an elbow injury but his heroic 154* runs knock stunned the cricket world as the visiting side won the match by 5 wickets and took a 2-0 lead in the series. It was also one of the finest captaincy knock ever across all formats.
No one thought VVS Laxman will create history and make a name for himself in a crucial match against Australia. The visitor took lead in the first innings but their effort went in vain because of Laxman's inhuman innings. Laxman played one of the greatest Test knocks 281 and formed a mammoth 376-run partnership with Rahul Dravid in the fifth wicket, which helped India to put a massive total on board to defend. Australia eventually bowled out for 212 runs and lost the match by 171 runs. With that knock, VVS Laxman had cemented his place in the Indian Test set up.
England charismatic all-rounder Ben Stokes played one of the finest match-winning knocks in Test cricket history on 25th August 2019 against arch-rival Australia. Stokes brilliant 135* runs saw England pull off a sensational 1-wicket victory in the third Test of the Ashes and leveled the series 1-1.
England lost 4 wickets for 159 runs in a chase of 359. Stokes and Bairstow then repaired the innings with an 86-run stand between them but England’s innings fell apart after the departure of Bairstow and lost 9 wickets when they had 286 runs on board. At that stage, the Australian campaign was hopeful of winning the match but who could have thought that Ben Stokes would turn out to be a savior for the English side? Stokes hammered the Aussie bowlers all over the ground and clinched the match with an unbeaten 76*-run partnership with Jack Leach in the 10th wicket.
Sri Lanka’s Kusal Perera played an unreal 153*-run match-winning knock against South Africa in Durban back in 2019, which goes down as the greatest fourth innings knock ever. It was the first of the two-match Test series and the expectation was that South Africa will comfortably seal the match. But Kusal Perera, though, had other ideas. He made an unbeaten 78*-run partnership with Fernando in the 10th wicket and stunned the Proteas with a 1 wicket victory.
The Prince of Port of Spain – Brian Lara played many memorable Test innings in almost two decades of his international career but his standout knock would be 153* against Australia if we were asked to pick Lara’s most special innings.
It was the third Test of the series and both teams were eager to win the match. The Windies were 105/5 while chasing 308, but Lara’s magical knock broke Australia’s heart as his unbeaten 153* scripted a 1-wicket victory over the visitor.
We have witnessed many great individual knocks over the years but the above-mentioned innings were the bests of the modern era and deservedly have earned a place in the list of most memorable match-winning knocks in Tests.
Bangladesh cricket team's seven-day isolation is about to be over and the Tigers are set to go out of their hotel rooms and take to the field for training.
All the members of the Bangladesh team had to undergo three Covid-19 tests in three different phases after arriving in New Zealand. As all of them returned negative, they were allowed to start practicing in the field in small groups.
"We were unable to come out from our room and train in the field as there were heavy restrictions," Mohammad Mithun, the middle-order batsman, said over a video message on Wednesday.
"Now the quarantine rules are being relaxed for us. We went to the gym after a week, and from tomorrow, we will be allowed to train in the field in small groups. I'm excited about getting back to the field."
Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Tamim Iqbal earlier expressed disappointments after being stuck in a single room for days.
Mithun said: "It's tough to stay in a hotel room for days. We have nothing much to do in the room. It's giving me immense relief to think we are finally getting out of the hotel rooms."
Bangladesh are yet to win an international match against the Blackcaps in New Zealand.
Mithun said, "If we can overcome the challenge of facing the new ball, it will be a golden chance for us to rewrite the history of our performance against the Blackcaps."
"We know that facing the new ball in New Zealand is one of the toughest tasks in cricket. We are aware of that. If we can survive the early hours of the game, we'll surely achieve something positive."
"Also, we'll have two weeks to get prepared ahead of the series. I think this is enough time to gear up," the middle-order batsman said.
For now, the Bangladesh team will be allowed to practice in small groups. But after 14 days, more restrictions will be lifted and the team will be free to move around.
The Tigers will play a three-match ODI and three-match T20 series against the hosts which will start on March 20.
All the matches will be played in six different venues. The ODIs of this series will be played as part of the ongoing World Cup Super League. Along with the hosts India, the top seven teams of this event will qualify directly for the World Cup 2023.
Glenn Maxwell dashed 70 from 31 balls, Aaron Finch returned to form with 69 and Ashton Agar took a career-best 6-30 as Australia beat New Zealand by 64 runs in the third Twenty20 international on Wednesday to keep the five-match series alive.
Maxwell reached a half century from 25 balls during an over in which he hit 28 runs — two sixes and four fours — from the bowling of Jimmy Neesham. At its end, his innings included eight fours and five sixes and set Australia on course to its commanding total of 208-4.
Also Read: Pandemic claims BD vs AUS
Tall Tasmania fast bowler Riley Meredith took 2-24 in his international debut, then Agar claimed six wickets in succession to stifle New Zealand’s reply. The home team was bowled out for 144 in 17.1 overs.
Meredith dismissed Tim Seifert (4) in his first over and claimed the prized wicket of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (9) in his second to put New Zealand under pressure early.
Agar first dismissed Devon Conway (38), then took the wickets of Glenn Phillips (13), Neesham (0) and Tim Southee (5) in the space of five deliveries, suppressing New Zealand’s dangerous lower middle order. He removed Mark Chapman (18) and Kyle Jamieson (11) to snuff out any chance of a late rally and achieve his second five-wicket bag in T20 internationals.
“It’s always good to get wickets, particularly when you go wicketless in the first two (matches),” Agar said. “But when you have 200 on the board it makes my job a lot easier.
“The boys bowled beautifully up front and I was lucky to have a great team around me.”
Finch rediscovered his form after a lean Big Bash season and after making only 12 and 1 in the first two matches of the current series which New Zealand won by 53 runs and four runs, respectively. His 69 in partnerships of 83 with Josh Philippe (43) and 64 with Maxwell set a strong foundation for Australia’s innings.
Finch survived two confident lbw appeals in the first over, then hit his stride, striking the ball powerfully down the ground and over the leg side to reach his half century from 34 balls with a six from a free hit off Ish Sodhi.
His partnership with Philippe gave Australia a strong tempo which saw it reach 38 after five over and 89 at the mid-point of its innings.
Philippe, who made 2 on debut in Christchurch, followed his 45 in Dunedin with another impressive innings of 43 from 27 balls.
Maxwell took the tempo from new heights, using an impressive array of shots both orthodox and unorthodox. He used ramp shots to take advantage of vacant third man or simply muscled the ball over the large boundaries at Wellington’s regional stadium where the match was played without spectators.
Maxwell said he struggled at first to get the pace of the pitch and took only three runs — all singles — from the first seven balls he faced before hitting his first boundary. From then on, boundaries came as a torrent, notably in the 17th over when he took the long handle to Neesham and went from 30 to 58.
His innings was full of improvisation and he even changed hands at one point.
“I wasn’t doing much good right-handed so I thought I’d try left-handed,” he said.
Maxwell was out to the last ball of the 18th over with Australia 194-4 and it didn’t fully capitalize, adding only 14 runs from the last two overs.
After the contentious two-day test gave India a 2-1 series lead against England, the series and the World Test Championship equations are simple ahead of the fourth cricket test at Ahmedabad.
A win or a draw for India will secure the series and a place in the test championship final against New Zealand. A win for England would seriously complicate matters for the hosts, and help Australia..
England opened the four-test series with a 227-run victory. India rallied to level it in Chennai with a 317-run victory and won the third third test by 10 wickets, on a spin-friendly wicket at Ahmedabad where Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin dominated.
England captain Joe Root is confident his team can level the series.
Also Read: Root scores century in 100th test
“We’ve got all the ingredients, all the pieces and all the skills to exploit and succeed in these conditions,” Root said. “It is important we harness that, have it in the front of our mind and be a bit braver actually; play with a little bit more freedom.
“It’s having that confidence to play the ball in front of you, not having the baggage from the previous delivery, not over-thinking the pitch, trying to see things for what they are. You need to be able to put pressure back on the bowlers.”
Root said the decision to go in with four seamers in the day-nighter in the third test was an error in judgment.
“You look at the side for the last match and we got that wrong, we read the pitch wrong in terms of the way we selected the team," he said. "We didn’t envisage it would spin as much. If the pitch is anything like the last one of course Dom (Bess) would be a fantastic option on this surface.”
India has not lost two tests in a home series since 2012, when England won.
“You look at India’s record at home in recent times and it’s incredible,” Root said. “So, for us to come away with a drawn series would be a really good achievement, especially off the back of the last two games.
“It would be a brilliant achievement to leave here 2-all. It would be a monumental effort from this group of players. So there’s loads to play for.”
India needs a series win to advance to the final and prevent a final between New Zealand and Australia.