Virat Kohli has offered a strong response to reports he has fallen out with India vice-captain Rohit Sharma, insisting "we have had no issues".

There has been speculation over a rift between Kohli and his deputy Rohit since India were beaten in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals by New Zealand.

However, Kohli repeatedly described such stories as "baffling", "ridiculous" and "disrespectful" as he addressed the media on Monday.

The India skipper insists he has a good relationship with Rohit and the rest of his team-mates, questioning the reason for such reporting, given a lack of evidence.

"In my opinion, it is baffling, to be honest," he told a news conference. "It is absolutely ridiculous to read such stuff.

"I have been to public events and the public says to me, 'We have so much respect for you'.

"We are feeding off lies, we are overlooking facts and we are turning a blind eye to all the good things that have happened, creating fantasies and scenarios in our heads, wanting to accept this is the truth.

"I've seen this for too long now, bringing personal lives into the picture, it's disrespectful honestly. I've played the game for 11 years, Rohit's played the game for 10 years.

"It's bizarre that people are creating this on the outside. It baffles you as a leader, as a coach, as a team when lies are being floated around and are being made to look like they are believable. It's actually very disrespectful, to be honest."

Kohli added he does not understand who would benefit from claims that would do more harm than good to Indian cricket.

"If I don't like a person or if I'm insecure with a person, you will see that on my face or in my behaviour to a person - that's how simple it is," he continued.

"I have always praised Rohit whenever I have had an opportunity because I believe he is that good. We have had no issues. As I said, it's baffling, to be honest.

"I don't know who is benefiting from all of this. We here are living, breathing, working towards getting Indian cricket to the top. And here there are people who get some kind of pleasure in bringing it down.

"I don't understand how that works. You work hard for four years to bring a team from seven to one [in the world rankings], and after four years, what are we talking about?

"Within the team, it's for everyone to see our camaraderie and friendship - and it's evident on the field. You can't play with that kind of passion if people don't get along with each other. It's as simple as that.

"It's baffling and it's time we focus on bringing Indian cricket forward and not on things that are not even there at the moment."

Sunil Gavaskar has hit out at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selectors ahead of India's tour of West Indies, labelling the body "lame ducks" over Virat Kohli continuing as captain.

India exited the Cricket World Cup in the semi-finals, losing to New Zealand after topping the group stage table under Kohli.

He will continue to lead the team in the United States and the Caribbean, though, with Gavaskar questioning why there was no discussions about Kohli's position after India failed to reach the World Cup final.

In a column in Indian outlet Mid Day, Gavaskar said: "That they selected the team for West Indies without first having a meeting to select the captain brings up the question of whether Virat Kohli is the captain of the team at his or the selection committee's pleasure.

"To the best of our knowledge his [Kohli’s] appointment was till the World Cup. After that, it was incumbent on the selectors to meet, even if it was for five minutes for his reappointment."

The India great continued: "Speaking of lame ducks, the Indian selection committee appears to be one.

"After the reappointment, he [Kohli] gets invited to the meeting for his views on selecting the players for the team.

"By bypassing the procedure, the message that goes out is that while the players like Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik get dropped after below-expectations performance, the captain continues despite much below-par expectations, where the team did not even reach the final."

India play the first of three T20 internationals against West Indies on August 3, with three ODI games following before a two-match Test series.

Regardless of who lifts the urn at The Oval in September, one Australian who is plotting Ashes glory should forever be revered in England.

Just 16 months ago Trevor Bayliss was facing calls for him to be axed as England head coach after New Zealand rolled Joe Root's side for only 58 in an embarrassing first-Test defeat in Auckland.

That came on the back of a chastening 4-0 Ashes thumping in Australia, where Bayliss also fended off questions over his future – much more assertively than the tourists did with the Australia bowling attack.

Bayliss would be entitled to feel he had more than enough credit in the bank at that point, having masterminded a transformation of the ODI side from a Cricket World Cup shambles in 2015 to a major force.

There was no word from his critics when top-ranked England were crowned world champions for the first time this month, an ambitious mission that he was challenged to achieve when he took the reins four years ago.

The unassuming Bayliss started his tenure with a home Ashes win and could sign off with another before stepping aside at the end of the series.

An emphatic home Test series win over India and two series victories against South Africa have also been achieved with the former Sri Lanka coach at the helm, as well as a run to the final of the 2016 World T20.

Paul Farbrace, long-time assistant to the man from New South Wales both with England and Sri Lanka, knows as well as anybody why Bayliss has been so successful over the years.

He told Omnisport: "It's very easy when you are a coach to talk a lot, it's very hard not to say a lot and when you do speak, you speak at the right time and you say the right thing.

"That is where I think he is a genius, in that when he speaks, people listen and when he speaks, he genuinely says something that is very good and you think 'that is a great point'.

"There is a lot of things Trevor gets underestimated about. He appears to sit quietly and not say a lot, but he gets his point across and he knows what is going on all the time in the game, he never misses a ball.

"He is a genuine cricket lover and he's passionate about the game, with exceptional knowledge. He may forget the odd name, but he doesn't forget too much about the game.

"He has been the perfect fit for England over the last four years. The World Cup was the goal four years ago and that's what they have achieved."

Farbrace added: "It's a special summer for English cricket; a home World Cup and Ashes in the same six-month period, it's magnificent for the game in this country at all levels of the game.

"There's never been a better time to introduce people to get involved in the game of cricket. If England can win the Ashes it would be the perfect way to see things home and I see no reason why they can't do that."

Whether or not England regain the Ashes, Bayliss can leave the job with his head held high, although he may prefer to stay poker-faced wearing dark shades under his floppy sun hat to stay out of the limelight.

Ryan Sidebottom believes Chris Silverwood should be given the chance to replace Trevor Bayliss as England head coach.

Silverwood was appointed as England bowling coach after masterminding Essex's 2017 County Championship triumph.

Bayliss will end his four-year tenure after an Ashes series that starts at Edgbaston on Thursday, just a few weeks after England lifted the Cricket World Cup for the first time at Lord's.

Sidebottom thinks Silverwood can step up with former England captain Paul Collingwood staying in the set-up to assist him.

The ex-England seamer told Omnisport: "You've got Chris Silverwood and Paul Collingwood already in the set-up, why not pass on the baton to guys who know the players and then bring in a couple of new men - that is how I would see it.

"In Chris Silverwood as coach and Colly assistant you would have two young, hungry guys who know the lads really well and so I would not look too far from those two guys.

"That would bring continuity, which I think is really important on the back of the World Cup and hopefully an Ashes win."

Sidebottom is expecting a tight series against Australia, but thinks England will regain the urn.

He added: "I think they are two really strong bowling attacks. If Australia keep their bowlers fit they are going to trouble our batsmen.

"I reckon it might be quite close, of course I have to say England because they are stronger when you look through the squads, they have got the better batting line-up but England and Australia are very vulnerable to collapses.

"I think England will just shade it. Obviously the top three is still an issue for us, so that is something that everybody will be looking at but I think it will be a cracking series."

 

Sri Lanka completed their first home ODI series victory since November 2015 by defeating Bangladesh by seven wickets to go 2-0 up in the three-match clash.

Avishka Fernando, who only made seven in the series opener, led Sri Lanka to a comfortable victory in Colombo on Sunday by hammering a superb 82.

Sri Lanka, in their first ODI since the retirement of star bowler Lasith Malinga, were already well on their way to reaching their target of 239 when Fernando departed.

It was left to Kusal Mendis (41) and Angelo Mathews (52) to steer them home with over five overs remaining in another mismatch.

Mushfiqur Rahim anchored the Bangladesh innings with his 98 not out enabling the Tigers to set a total of 238-8, having earlier been reduced to 88-5.

But despite becoming only the third Bangladeshi to pass 6,000 ODI runs Mushfiqur missed out on a century in farcical scenes in the closing over as Taijul Islam bizarrely ran himself out.

Mehidy Hasan hit six boundaries to make 43 alongside Mushfiqur in a vital stand of 84 but Bangladesh's score, after they won the toss and opted to bat, never looked likely to be enough.

Isuru Udana, who replaced Malinga in the hosts' XI, took two wickets but it was the recalled Akila Dananjaya who starred with excellent figures of 2-39.

Mehidy removed Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne with a beauty for 15 but the 21-year-old Fernando further burnished his growing reputation with another outstanding innings.

Fernando failed to convert for his second ODI century, falling to Mustafizur Rahman (2-50), but his barrage of nine fours and two sixes had Bangladesh on the ropes.

After Kusal Perera made 30, Mendis and Mathews completed the run chase with ease, the latter reaching his half-century by hitting a boundary for the winning runs.

Sri Lanka won the first ODI of the series by 91 runs and will aim to complete a whitewash in Colombo on Wednesday, with Bangladesh hoping to arrest a run of four straight defeats.

Lasith Malinga has played his final ODI, starring for Sri Lanka in Friday's victory against Bangladesh in Colombo.

The Lions seamer went out in style as he took three wickets for 38 runs - his dismissal of Mustafizur Rahman wrapping up the win - in a 91-run triumph.

Malinga will continue to play 20-over internationals until next year's T20 World Cup, but it was in the 50-over format that he first established himself as a worldwide bowling icon.

Marking the end of a brilliant career, we take a look at how he compares to the very best.

 

ONE OF SRI LANKA'S ELITE

Malinga ends his career at number three on Sri Lanka's list of ODI wicket-takers, having claimed 338 from 220 innings.

Only the great Muttiah Muralitharan (523) and Chaminda Vaas (399) can better that tally, both playing considerably more innings - 334 and 319 respectively.

That puts Malinga ahead of Sanath Jayasuriya, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dilhara Fernando and team-mate Thisara Perera, with his average of 28.87 better than each of those four players, too.

 

HIS PLACE AMONG THE GREATS

Those figures unsurprisingly put Malinga high on the all-time worldwide list, too.

The 35-year-old is ninth in a table that again sees compatriot Muralitharan on top, also trailing Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Vaas, Shahid Afridi, Shaun Pollock, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee.

Counting only seamers in ODIs, Malinga is seventh, with Javagal Srinath (315 wickets) the next after him.

He also collected three hat-tricks, which is more than any other bowler in ODI history, while he had eight five-wicket hauls.

 

A GENUINE WORLD CUP STAR

A rare bowling list that Muralitharan does not lead is that of Cricket World Cup wickets, where he is second behind McGrath. Malinga, with 56, 15 behind the leader, is third.

That total came from just 28 innings as Malinga produced his best on the big stage, playing in four World Cups (2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019) and taking 12 or more wickets in each of them. No other bowler has taken at least 10 wickets in more than three tournaments.

Sri Lanka were runners-up in 2007 and 2011, and big-game player Malinga took a hat-trick in each tournament. He took four wickets from four balls for the first of those against South Africa.

Kusal Perera's blistering century set up Lasith Malinga for a triumphant ODI farewell as Sri Lanka crushed Bangladesh by 91 runs in Colombo.

Malinga laced his bowling boots for the final time in the 50-over format and removed openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar with trademark yorkers as Bangladesh' pursuit of 314-8 began its limp towards 223 all out.

The visitors faced such a lofty total thanks to Perera's superb 111 off 99 balls, which featured 17 fours and a six, while Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews played astute hands for 43 and 48 respectively.

Mathews' long-time colleague Malinga was the man the fans had come to see and he did not disappoint, closing the show to huge acclaim as Thisara Perera held a steepler to halt a breezy 18 from last man Mustafizur Rahman – the great fast bowler departing with 3-38 off 9.4 overs, the pick of Sri Lanka's attack one last time.

Malinga's new ball partner Nuwan Pradeep took 3-51 and Bangladesh's Shafiul Islam was another seamer to prosper (3-62).

Shafiul encouraged Avishka Fernando to chase a ball outside off stump and edge to slip, although that brought Kusal Perera into the fray.

He added a brisk 97 in 73 balls alongside Dimuth Karunaratne before the skipper top-edged a sweep off Mehidy Hasan Miraz to Mustafizur to fall for 36.

Mendis was the next willing accomplice for the centurion as they put on 100 for the third wicket, with Kusal Perera reaching his milestone via a four to the midwicket boundary off Mosaddek Hossain in the 28th over.

Sri Lanka's scoring predictably slowed after the returning Soumya accounted for Kusal Perera, who tamely lobbed a catch to Mustafizur at short fine leg, and Mendis feathered Rubel Hossain behind in the following over.

Mathews used all his experience to guide the hosts beyond 300 before falling to Mustafizur (2-75) in the penultimate over.

Malinga - who is set to continue playing T20 internationals - and Pradeep's efforts at the top of the order had Bangladesh tottering on 39-4 in the 12th over.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rahman combined pleasingly in a stand of 111, although the game was up when the latter holed out to Fernando off Dhananjaya de Silva (2-49) for 60.

Pradeep had Mushfiqur strangled down the leg side for 67 and the man of the hour, Malinga, could enjoy his closing spell with the game in the bag.

The second game of the three-match series takes place in Colombo on Sunday.

Sri Lanka Cricket president Shammi Silva hailed Lasith Malinga as an all-time great after the paceman announced he will make his final ODI appearance on Friday.

Malinga is to finish his stellar international career in the 50-over format after the opening game in the three-match series against Bangladesh in Colombo.

The limited-overs specialist is third on the list of Sri Lanka's leading ODI wicket-takers, claiming 335 in 225 matches.

Silva lavished praised on the 35-year-old, who will remain available for Twenty20 International selection.

"Lasith Malinga is an exceptional player, who has contributed immensely to the game of cricket in Sri Lanka," Silva said.

"His departure from ODI cricket opens up a door for young bowlers to come and emulate what Malinga has done, while playing for the country."

Ben Stokes is "flattered" to be nominated for the New Zealander of the Year award but England's Cricket World Cup hero says Kane Williamson should receive the accolade.

Votes were cast for the New Zealand-born all-rounder to claim the prize last week after he was named man of the match following a decisive innings in a World Cup final defeat of the Black Caps at Lord's.

However, Stokes believes New Zealand captain Williamson is the man who should be given the honour.

"I am flattered to be nominated for New Zealander of the Year. I am proud of my New Zealand and Maori heritage but it would not sit right with me to be nominated for this prestigious award," said the 28-year-old.

"There are people who deserve this recognition more and have done a lot more for the country of New Zealand.

"I have helped England lift a World Cup and my life is firmly established in the UK – it has been since I was 12 years old.

"I feel the whole country should align their support to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. He should be revered as a Kiwi legend. He led his team in this World Cup with distinction and honour. 

"He was the player of the tournament and an inspirational leader of men. He shows humility and empathy to every situation and is an all-round good bloke.

"He typifies what it is to be a New Zealander. He would be a worthy recipient of this accolade. New Zealand, fully support him. He deserves it and gets my vote."

Lasith Malinga has told Dimuth Karunaratne he will retire from ODIs following the first match against Bangladesh, according to the Sri Lanka captain.

The 35-year-old had already announced plans to quit cricket following next year's T20 World Cup, yet his final ODI appearance is set to come this week.

Sri Lanka face Bangladesh in a three-match ODI series, starting on Friday, but Karunaratne is expecting to be without Malinga following the opener in Colombo.

"We need to find a wicket-taking bowler because Malinga is not available after this series," the skipper told a news conference.

"He is going to play the first match. After that, he is retiring. That's what he said to me. I don't know what he said for the selectors but, for me, he said he is playing only one match."

Malinga has taken 335 wickets in 225 ODIs, sitting third on his country's all-time list, with 13 dismissals at the recent Cricket World Cup.

Karunaratne added ahead of taking on Bangladesh: "As the captain of Sri Lanka, after the World Cup, we need to build a good team.

"We are trying to find some new talent, so we are giving some chances to the youngsters in this series. We want to play a good cricket series."

England captain Eoin Morgan insisted he was yet to make a decision on his future, saying he needed more time to consider what is ahead.

Morgan, 32, led England to their first Cricket World Cup title earlier this month after a dramatic win over New Zealand in the final.

With some uncertainty over his future, Morgan said he would take a break before making a decision.

"After every major tournament or challenge, I'll always sit down and say 'how does the future look? How does the next six months, year, four years look?'" he told Sky Sports.

"I actually haven't had a chance to come down off the high of the World Cup yet, so it's been incredibly difficult to make a logical decision and that's when I make my best decisions.

"Next week, I'm going away with my wife to get away from the game, in a really nice way. I'm absolutely knackered – physically and mentally knackered. I need a little bit of time away to consider everything."

The 2020 ICC T20 World Cup is just 15 months away, while England will defend their 50-over crown in 2023.

Morgan said he needed to decide whether he was the man to continue leading England through the period.

"It's a big commitment – not only to go to the T20 World Cup next year, but to commit to the next 50-over World Cup," he said.

"This last five weeks has taken so much out of me mentally and physically. My levels of fitness with my back have always been in question and it's not a nice place to be in as a leader.

"At the forefront of it will be 'can I take the team forward?'"

England's dramatic Cricket World Cup final victory over New Zealand does not feel like a fair result, according to Eoin Morgan.

The showpiece at Lord's went down to a super over, after Ben Stokes had inadvertently deflected Martin Guptill's throw out for a boundary to keep England's chances of victory alive.

Stokes and Jos Buttler then amassed 15 runs in the additional over, a total which was matched by New Zealand, but an incredible contest was settled in England's favour courtesy of Morgan's side hitting more boundaries throughout their innings.

And Morgan conceded he has still not quite been able to make sense of the triumph, and is slightly troubled by winning in such a manner.

"I don't think it's fair to have a result like that when there's very little between the sides," Morgan told the Times.

"I don't think there was one moment that you could say, 'That actually cost the game there'. It was quite balanced.

"I'm black and white. I'm normally going, 'I know. I was there, that happened'. [But] I can't stick my finger on where the game was won and lost.

"I'm not sure winning it makes it any easier. A little bit [troubled], because there's no defining moment that you'd say: 'Yes, we thoroughly deserved it.' It's just been crazy."

Morgan added he has been in contact with his Black Caps counterpart Kane Williamson, who shares his disbelief at how the final panned out.

"I spoke to Kane [Williamson] over the last couple of days on numerous occasions and none of us has come up with a rational explanation as to the various times we gave them the game and they gave it back to us," Morgan added.

"Like me, he can't get his head around everything."

Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, meanwhile, has no doubt the Black Caps - also runners up in the 2015 World Cup - will bounce back from the result, despite being "broken" at the moment.

"That's the thing and it's going to be so difficult for those guys," McCullum told stuff.co.nz. "I was lucky enough to have a beer with them in the changing room and they were pretty broken, that's for sure.

"They were also really proud of what they did and how well they played. Over the coming months and years, whilst it's still raw now, they'll understand just how magnificent that spectacle was.

"And for it to happen on the biggest of stages, to have played the hand that they played in that match is absolutely amazing."

Sri Lanka have recalled Niroshan Dickwella for the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh.

A surprise omission from Sri Lanka's Cricket World Cup squad, wicketkeeper-batsman Dickwella is one of 22 players selected for the 50-over fixtures on home soil.

Akila Dananjaya, Danushka Gunathilaka and Lakshan Sandakan also return, while Nuwan Pradeep - who returned home early from England due to chickenpox - is fit enough to be included.

However, Suranga Lakmal and Jeevan Mendis are left out after featuring at the tournament, along with Milinda Siriwardana and Jeffrey Vandersay.

Colombo is the venue for the trio of fixtures, which start on July 26. The teams meet again just two days later before concluding the short series on July 31.

Lasith Malinga is also set to feature. The paceman said in March he plans to retire from cricket after next year's T20 World Cup in Australia.

 

Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dhananjaya, Amila Aponso, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Lahiru Madushanka

England's triumphant squad have received plenty of praise since lifting the Cricket World Cup - and now they have been honoured with a one-of-a-kind championship belt from an unlikely fan.

As a 14-time champion, WWE superstar Triple H knows a thing or two about winning in big situations. And the man with a finishing move called the 'Pedigree' was certainly impressed with the standards shown by Eoin Morgan's side against New Zealand on Sunday, when the tournament hosts prevailed following a dramatic Super Over at the home of cricket.

The wrestler, whose real name is Paul Levesque, tweeted out a message of congratulations to the new ODI champions, along with a picture of a customised world heavyweight championship belt made to mark their success.

"An incredible tournament, an awe-inspiring final, and a team of worthy champions. Congratulations to England Cricket for winning the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019! This custom WWE Championship is YOURS!" Triple H wrote.

The unique strap includes the words "World Cup champions", with the England and Wales Cricket Board's official logo appearing twice, placed either side of the central WWE badge.

However, the generous gift to mark England's achievement does create a problem - who gets to keep it?

Jos Buttler, who was in partnership with Ben Stokes in the middle during England's Super Over, had an on-topic suggestion to decide the owner, tweeting: "Royal rumble lads last man standing keeps the belt?" 

If Buttler's idea comes to fruition, Morgan and his team-mates would have to forget about boundary ropes and focus on the top rope instead. Perhaps Triple H could make an appearance during the upcoming Ashes series against Australia to crown England's new wrestling champion, too.

The Game at a game of cricket? We can only hope...

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been nominated for the New Zealander of the Year award, less than a week after dashing the Black Caps' Cricket World Cup dreams.

Stokes was instrumental in England's thrilling triumph at Lord's on Sunday, scoring an unbeaten 84 to force a Super Over and then making eight off three balls in the additional six deliveries as Eoin Morgan's side won an all-time classic on boundary count.

In an incident-packed innings, Stokes was caught by Trent Boult in the deep during the penultimate over only for the fielder to step on the rope with the ball in hand, and in the final over England's number five dived and accidentally diverted Martin Guptill's throw to the boundary with his bat, resulting in another crucial six runs.

However, despite playing a pivotal role in beating the Black Caps, Stokes, who was born in Christchurch and moved to England at the age of 12, has still received votes for the New Zealander of the Year award.

"We also received nominations for England's hero Ben Stokes," chief judge Cameron Bennett said in quotes published on the New Zealand Herald's website.

"He might not have been playing for the Black Caps but, having been born in Christchurch, where his parents now live, and with Maori ancestry, there's clearly a few Kiwis about who think we can still claim him."

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson - voted player of the tournament at the World Cup - is also up for the award, along with Abdul Aziz, who chased away a gunman after 51 people were killed in a terror attack on two Christchurch mosques.

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