For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team is determined to rewrite history. After failing in South Africa and England, India will be aiming to achieve what no other team before them has. Success in the Test series against Australia in their own conditions will help the side overcome their overseas pains in a big way. The losses in England (thrice), South Africa (twice) and New Zealand (once) will all be blown away if the side achieves success in Australia. However, for that to materialise, Kohli’s side will not only have to battle the baggage of history but they will have to overcome their perennial problem which has haunted them on overseas tours.Read More |Nathan McCullum declared dead, former player says he is ‘alive’When it comes to Tests in countries like South Africa, England and Australia, India have suffered batting collapses which have changed the course of the series. Some collapses came when the team was on the threshold of a win. In the previous cycle of 2013-15, this factor was the prime problem for India. In 2018, with two defeats overseas, it seems the lessons have not been learnt. Before Kohli departed for Australia, his pre-tour press conference summed up what the problem for the team was. “When we made the mistakes, it was extreme. We played good cricket, but the mistakes were extreme. We need to control a tough situation better and how to find a way out of it rather than getting out of it immediately,” Kohli said.Read More |Virat Kohli enjoys batting if someone has a go at him: Tim PaineThe extreme mistakes were the batting collapses. The fact that it has happened consistently is a worrying sign for Kohli and he needs to avoid a repeat of past instances when a collapse resulted in a loss for the side. Down Under DramaKohli need not go very far to understand how batting collapses have cost India. In the 2014/15 series, India held the upper hand in Adelaide. The skipper had scored centuries in both the innings and India was poised for a famous win. Chasing 364 for a win, India were comfortably placed at 242/2 and Kohli was given good company by Murali Vijay on 99. However, when Vijay fell LBW to Nathan Lyon, a collapse began and India lost eight wickets for 73 runs. Lyon ended up with 7/152 and Kohli was out for 141 as India lost the Test by 48 runs.Read More |Kohli focused only on cricket, not on confrontations vs AustraliaThe pain was repeated in Brisbane. In the first innings, India lost six wickets for 87 runs as they failed to ride on Vijay’s ton. In the second innings, India started off well at 71/1 but a devastating collapse of five wickets for 16 runs ensured that the match went in Australia’s favour. These instances of losing wickets in a bunch have not only hurt India in Australia, but the nightmare has been repeated even in South Africa and England. 2018 House of CardsIn the first Test in Cape Town, India threw away the advantage when they lost seven wickets for 92 runs in the first innings. In the second innings, while chasing 208, India suffered two collapses. They lost three wickets for nine runs and four wickets for 11 runs as they lost the match by 72 runs. In the Centurion Test, they lost seven wickets for 87 runs while chasing 287 to lose the match and the series. The trend of collapses continued in England. In Edgbaston, a collapse of five wickets for 78 runs proved disastrous for India in their 31-run loss. In Lord’s, they were bowled out for 107 and 130. In Southampton, they lost four wickets for 16 runs in the first innings while in the second innings, they lost six wickets for 40 runs. India lost the series 4-1 after another collapse of five wickets for 20 at The Oval.In each instance, the fact that India lost wickets in heaps was the key factor behind their losses. For Kohli to gain success in Australia, a repeat of the collapses must be avoided at all costs.
Shawn Farhadian is a sophomore writing about the NBA and social justice. His column, “Dishing and Swishing,” runs every other Friday. Here’s what might be another problem, as proposed by former NBA forward Richard Jefferson: What if Giannis is more of a Scottie Pippen than a Michael Jordan? Does he need that extra superior star power to take him over Milwaukee’s playoff bumps? Milwaukee is already down 2-0 to the Miami Heat — a fifth seed in the east — in the Conference Semifinals. And to be honest, I’m not sure if I would be too surprised if they go down 3-0 Friday. Here’s the problem, though: The Bucks — and Giannis — don’t pass the eye test. At all. To put it bluntly, they are boring to watch. Miami’s young guards and wings, which include Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro, are outrunning and outshooting Milwaukee’s guards. They’re doing it by continuously finding and taking open shots, whereas the Bucks seem to try to force everything through Giannis. The Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics lead the NBA in points, field goal percentage, three point percentage, free throw percentage, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks per game respectively. The answer to this question is thought provoking because although Jefferson could very well be right, the debate gets more complicated when you start to mull over options for Giannis. The Greek Freak is expected to test free agency after the playoffs, and Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports reported Thursday that it’s an “open secret” that Miami and Toronto are the leading candidates to land Giannis. However, this shouldn’t automatically warrant winning Defensive Player of the Year. Giannis finished No. 40 in the league in blocks per game and No. 98 in steals per game. His 6-foot-11 stature, 7-foot-3 wingspan and unreal athleticism clearly help him out, but why wasn’t Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis considered more, since he finished No. 16 in steals per game and third in blocks per game and helped the Lakers to the top seed in their conference? For the record, he was still in the top-22 in defensive rebounds and defensive win shares. Yes, Milwaukee is a defensive juggernaut: They lead the NBA in defensive rating, defensive rebounds and opponent points in the paint. Likewise, Giannis led the league in defensive rebounds and defensive win shares, which helped the Bucks win games. Although OKC and Utah are already eliminated from the playoffs, Milwaukee isn’t at the top of any single offensive statistic. The Bucks’ power lies in their defense. I just spit out a bunch of stats and names, but here’s what I’m really trying to get at: As spectacular of a defensive team the Bucks are, their offense isn’t good enough to outplay other defenses in the playoffs, including Miami’s. It’s not electrifying, and Giannis and shooting guard Khris Middleton take virtually every single shot as they are the only two Bucks to score more than 20 points per game this season. You know what they say: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Isn’t that right, Kevin Durant? Anyway, Milwaukee needs to perform better this series (and the next if they make it, somehow), and by better, I mean they need to be more exciting to watch. If they’re not going to play well through better ball movement and more points in transition, they’ll be in trouble sooner than they’d like. This isn’t to say that the Bucks are not a good team, because of course they’re good. For the regular season, the Bucks finished first in points and rebounds per game, third in field goal percentage and sixth in assists per game. Good offensive teams perform well in those categories. An easy start to fixing this problem is to get more points off turnovers; Milwaukee finished just 10th in that category this season despite its stellar defense. This standing is also behind the other three remaining Eastern Conference teams (Toronto, Boston and Miami), so forget about winning the Finals for a second. If they want to even get there in the first place to compete against a team like the Clippers or Lakers, they need to capitalize on forcing an eighth-best average of 14 turnovers per game. But haven’t you noticed that they don’t lead any particular offensive category? The Milwaukee Bucks finished the shortened 2019-20 regular season winning more than 75% of their games. In a top-heavy Eastern Conference, they finished out on top by 2.5 games. They lost only five games at home, and they did it all with the reigning MVP, current Defensive Player of the Year and four-time All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.