Day 4: A day of disappointments for the Indian Olympic contingent
India reaches Men’s Archery quarter-finals with win over Kazakhstan
India’s trio of Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav put up an impressive display to defeat Kazakhstan 6-2 to progress into the quarter-finals where they will face World Champions Korea.
Bhavani Devi beats Tunisia’s Ben Azizi to win India’s first ever fencing match in Olympic history
Indian fencer CA Bhavani Devi created history at her Olympic Games debut by defeating Tunisia’s Nadia Ben Azizi 15-3 to reach the Individual Sabre Round of 16. She is also India’s first ever fencer to represent the country in the Olympics and the 27 year old showcased a commanding performance.
Starting strong despite a delay in her bout, Bhavani Devi gave nothing away and raced to an 8-0 lead. Tunisia’s Azizi, being a lower ranked opponent was not given any space or time to regain momentum and remained on the backfoot with precise attacks.
Indian paddler Sharath Kamal progresses to third round after win against Portugal's Tiago Apolonia
Sharath Kamal progressed into the third round of table tennis men’s singles with a 4-2 (2-11 11-8 11-5 9-11 11-6 11-9) over Tiago Apolonia. Despite losing the first game 2-11, Kamal fought back with grit and determination to win the next two rounds. However, Apolonia did not give up without a fight and levelled the match in the fourth round with a score of 9-11.
Sharath’s coach Saumadeep Roy called for a timeout when the scores were tied 4-4 in the fifth set, which worked in the Indian’s favor as the veteran Indian paddler went on to lead 8-5, winning the fifth set and making it 3-2.
Indian fencer Bhavani Devi’s journey ends at the Tokyo Olympics after defeat against Brunet in Round of 32
Despite Bhavani Devi’s journey at the Tokyo Olympics coming to an end, it seems like the beginning for her and Indian fencing after the 27 year old became the first Indian to win a fencing bout in Olympic history.
Facing World Number 3 and fourth seed Manon Brunet of France was always going to be a tough task but Bhavani Devi gave her a good fight, going into the break trailing 2-8 but collecting 5 more points in the 2nd round before eventually succumbing to a 7-15 loss.
Sutirtha loses in straight games the 2nd Round in Tokyo
After securing a hard fought win in the 1st round, Sutirtha Mukherjee lost to Fu Yu from Portugal in the Tokyo Olympics.
The Chinese born 42 year old secured victory taking the first four games in 23 minutes, each game lasting around 5 minutes. The score line read 11-3,11-3,11-5 and 11-5. With this result, Sutirtha’s Olympic campaign has come to an end and now there are two players left in the ray.
Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy lose to the world no 1 pair of Gideon and Sukamuljo of Indonesia
The Indian pair of Chirag Shetty and Rankireddy began the match well but the world number 1 pair of Gideon and Sukamuljo of Indonesia started asserting dominance over them and won the first set quite comfortably 21-13. The second set began in similar fashion with the Indian pair taking an early lead but the Indonesian pair overwhelmed them with a tremendous display of skill and won the second set 21-12.
Chirag Shetty and Rankireddy will now face Lane Ben and Vendy Sean of Great Britain in their final group match tomorrow
Indian men’s archery team outclassed by South Korea in the quarter-finals
It was always going to be a tough task for the Indian trio of Atanu Das, Pravin Jadhav and Tarundeep Rai to overcome South Korea in the quarter-finals of the men’s archery event, but few predicted such a whitewash.
In a one sided contest at the Yumenoshima Ranking Field, the South Korean team consisting of Kim Je Deok, Kim Woojin, and Oh Jinhyek reached the semifinals by defeating the Indian team 6-0.
India out of men’s skeet shooting; Angad Bajwa places 18th in qualification
Both Indian shooters who competed in the Tokyo Olympics today were unable to qualify for the final. Angad Bajwa finished 18th in the Men's Skeet qualification round, while Mairaj Khan came in 25th. With their exit, Indian sports fans will have to wait a little longer to see their country earn its first Olympic medal in the sport in Tokyo.
Despite competing in five events in three days, India has yet to win a single medal in Shooting, a sport they were anticipated to dominate at the Tokyo Olympics.
Sumit’s run comes to an end as Medvedev clinches victory in straight sets
After beating Denis Istomin in the first round, Sumit Nagal created history as the first Indian to secure a win in Olympic Singles in 25 years. Today in the 2nd round he faced Danii Medvedev from Russia and lost 6-2,6-1 in an hour and six minutes. The Russian is the current world number 2 and has good chances of winning a medal here.
Medvedev is also playing doubles this time partnering with Aslan Karatsev but lost their opening match to Lukas Klein and Filip Polasek from Slovakia. With his loss India has ended its Tennis run as Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina lost their opening match yesterday in Women’s Doubles.
Manika Batra loses to Austria’s Sofia Polcanova 4-0
Manika, world ranked at 63, lost four straight games to the 17 seeded table tennis player; 11-8, 11-2, 11-5, 11-7. Batra had earlier impressed on Sunday by beating world number 32 Margaryta Pesotska to reach the women's singles third round at the Tokyo Olympics.
Indian boxer Ashish Kumar loses 5-0 to China's Erbieke Tuoheta
Indian boxers have performed rather poorly at the Tokyo Olympics with Ashish Kumar becoming the third male boxer to lose in the first round alongside Vikas Krishna & Manish Kumar. The 27 year old boxer from Haryana started poorly in the first round but gradually improved his performance in the second. However, it was too little too late for Ashish Kumar who fell prey to Tuoheta’s combination punches.
Indian swimmer Sajan Prakash fails to qualify for semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics
Sajan Prakash finished fourth in the Men’s 200 metre butterfly stroke event with a timing of 1.57.22. With this result, Prakash finished 24th overall and failed to qualify for the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics as only the top 16 move forward after all the heats are done.
Also read: Day 3: Mary Kom,PV Sindhu and Manika Batra keeping up India’s medal hopes
Germany beats India 2-0 in women's hockey at the Tokyo Olympics
The Indian Women’s hockey team lost 2-0 to Germany in their second pool A match at the Oi Hockey Stadium South Pitch. The Germans are off to a strong start as they have won their second successive match, beating Britain in their first match by two goals to one. The first quarter saw Nike Lorenz strike in the 12th minute in a penalty corner. The second quarter did not see any goals from both teams, the third quarter saw Anne Katarina Schroder scoring the second goal for Germany in the 35th minute to give them a 2-0 win.
Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy lose to the world no 1 pair of Gideon and Sukamuljo of Indonesia
(Badminton news) Olympic 2021 Live Update: The Indian pair of Chirag Shetty and Rankireddy began the match well but the world number 1 pair of Gideon and Sukamuljo of Indonesia started asserting dominance over them and won the first set quite comfortably 21-13. The second set began in similar fashion with the Indian pair taking an early lead but the Indonesian pair overwhelmed them with a tremendous display of skill and won the second set 21-12.
Also read:Sai Praneeth loses to lower ranked Zilberman; Shetty, Rankireddy the Indian duo beat world no. 3
Chirag Shetty and Rankireddy will now face Lane Ben and Vendy Sean of Great Britain in their final group match tomorrow. The Indians will surely want to end the group stage with a win and qualify for the quarterfinals as they had already beaten the world no 3 pair from Chinese Taipei and are in a strong position to qualify if they beat the pair from Great Britain.
Sri Lanka have forgotten how to win games for last so many years: Legendary former spinner Muralitharan
Colombo, Jul 21 (Cricket news) Legendary spinner Muthiah Muralitharan feels the current Sri Lankan cricket team has forgotten how to win matches over the years, insisting that the sport is currently going through a tough phase in the island nation.
Sri Lanka, under new captain Dasun Shanaka, failed to defend a total of 275 for nine in the second ODI, allowing India to chase down the target with three wickets in hand and five balls to spare despite reducing the visitors to 193 for seven at one stage.
"I told you before, Sri Lanka didn't know the winning ways, they have forgotten the winning ways for the last so many years. It has been tough for them because they have not (known) how to win a match," Muralitharan told ESPNCricinfo.
Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga had claimed three wickets to leave India struggling at 193 for seven in 35.1 overs but Sri Lanka skipper Shanaka made big mistake by keeping him for the final overs.
Also read: Sri Lanka score 275/9 against India in 2nd ODI
"I have told you before if Sri Lanka takes three wickets in first 10-15 overs, India is going to struggle and actually India struggled. Big effort from (Deepak) Chahar and Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) made them win.
"And also they (Sri Lanka) made some mistakes. They should have bowled Wanindu Hasaranga, rather than keeping him, they should have bowled him and try to take a wicket," he said.
"If they would have taken one wicket out of Bhuvneshwar or Chahar, with two other tail-enders coming, it would have been tough to chase 8-9 runs an over...they made some mistakes but it is an inexperienced side." Sri Lankan coach Mickey Arthur seemed frustrated as he made some animated gestures from the dressing room towards the end of the game as Chahar (69) and Bhuvneshwar (19) overwhelmed the target with an 84-run unbeaten stand to hand a second-string India an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Muralitharan said Arthur should have stayed calm and conveyed his message to the new skipper.
"I think the coach was acting like, showing himself disappointed and everything, rather than just calm down and send some messages," he said.
"Tell the best bowler to ball and try to take the wicket rather than try to keep them till the end and defend it, it never works like that." "Seven wickets gone, one wicket and match would have been sealed but they didn't know the winning ways, they have forgotten, it is a had time for Sri Lankan cricket to come to winning ways," he said.
News source: PTI
Indian archer Deepika Kumari remains in hunt for fourth individual World Cup gold
Paris, Jun 23 Indian archer Deepika Kumari stayed in hunt for her second successive gold by moving to the women's recurve individual semi-finals of the World Cup Stage 3 here on Wednesday.
The world number three, who had won the World Cup Stage 1 in Guatemala City in April this year, overwhelmed 2012 London Olympics silver medalist Aida Roman of Mexico 6-0.
Shrugging off her disastrous show in Sunday's Final Olympic Qualifier team event, Deepika reigned supreme with scores of 29, 28 and 28 that included four perfect 10s with two closest to the centre (X) to knock out the veteran Mexican.
The second seed Deepika has another Mexican challenger in sixth seed Ana Vazquez.
Rest of the Indians, including World Cup stage one champion Atanu Das, made early exits as the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medalist remained the only hope in the individual recurve section.
Following her disastrous show in the Final Olympic Qualifier team event, Deepika shot consistently as she began her elimination round by blanking Elena Tonetta of Italy 6-0.
Ankita Bhakat also joined Deepika in the last-16, defeating Angeline Cohendet of France 7-1, while teenager Komalika Bari lost to Ines De Velasco of Spain 4-6.
In the pre-quarters, Deepika bounced back from being 1-3 to defeat Charline Schwarz of Germany in a hard-fought five setter 7-3, while left-handed Ankita made an exit, going down to Russian Elena Osipova 2-6.
In the men's individual events, Das lost to Jack Willimas of USA 5-6 (8-9) in the shootoff, while Pravin Jadhav lost to Patrick Houston of Great Britain 2-6 in the pre-quarters.
Veteran Army archer Tarundeep Rai made a last-32 exit, losing to Nicholas D'Amour of Virgin Islands in shootoff 5-6 (9-10).
Earlier, Abhishek Verma and Jyothi Surekha Vennam emerged the best placed Indians with their respective 11th and 15th place finishes in the qualification round of men's and women's compound sections.
In their first international competition in about two years, the Indian compound archers appeared rusty.
The two-time World Cup champion Verma logged 706 points. Aman Saini was next best at 21st place (704) and was followed by Rajat Chauhan's lowly 42nd (697) place finish.
The trio tallied 2107 points to take the sixth place to set up an opening round clash against 11th placed Sweden.
Indian compound women's team finished sixth with 2066 points and it will face 11th ranked France in the opening round elimination match.
Individually, Jyothi shot 695 points to take 15th place while Saanchi Dhalla (690) and Akshita (681) occupied the 22nd and 32nd places respectively.
In the mixed pair event, Verma and Jyothi are placed ninth and will get a bye into the last-16 where they will face eighth-ranked Russia.
The Indian compound archers had last competed in the Asian Championships in Bangkok in November 2019 where the duo of Verma and Vennam had upset Chinese Taipei to clinch a gold medal.
The compound team was forced to withdraw from the season-opening first stage of the World Cup in Guatemala after its coach's "false positive" report of COVID-19. News source PTI
Indian cricketer Ruturaj Gaikwad banks on core strength of adaptability to impress in maiden India outing
Pune, Jun 11 Overwhelmed by emotion after getting his maiden India call-up, batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad of Friday said he would be banking on his ability to adapt quickly when he tries to make an impression during the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.
The 24-year-old from Maharashtra is one of the six uncapped players named in the 20-member squad for the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka next month. The Shikhar Dhawan-led side will play three ODIs and three T-20 matches between July 13 and July 25.
"I am just happy. Right from the moment I got to know about it, you know a journey comes in front of your eyes that from where you started and where you wanted to reach...it's a pretty emotional feeling," Gaikwad told PTI after his net practice session near here.
"You get the thought of people who have supported you throughout the journey, be it my parents, friends or coaches. So, obviously proud feeling for everyone and happy feeling for everyone," he said.
The right-hander averages over 47 in the 59 List A matches that he has played and has a strike rate of more than 130 in the T20 format.
Gaikwad feels adapting to any situation in the game is his "core strength".
"...be it in an attacking manner or be it playing according to situation, taking some time or making sure your team crosses the line, the way I adapt to both situations, that is what I think my strength is more often," he asserted.
The youngster, who rose to prominence after his successful stint with IPL team Chennai Super Kings, said he is looking to reconnect with Rahul Dravid, who would be head coach of the team. Dravid has, in the past, coached the Indian under-19 and A teams.
"The opportunities would be limited but I'm just looking forward to learn from this journey as much as I can. There are experienced players in the group and obviously once again I will get a chance to reconnect with Rahul Sir," he said.
"The last India A tour happened one and half years ago, so again, there is a chance to regroup with him (Rahul Dravid) have a chat about the game, so there is lot more than just performance or scorecard.
"Obviously if I get opportunity, just hoping that I can give my best and wish to win a game for India. One of my biggest goals is to get a win for the Indian team or my country." Gaikwad has shared the dressing room with the likes of Faf du Plessis and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in CSK and he believes that he has learnt several things from the duo.
"I think with Mahi Bhai, obviously whatever he speaks it is always eye-catching and I had heard that he spoke about me in the post-match presentation and all, I don't talk much with him, he knows that I'm a quiet and shy guy," he said.
"When he (Dhoni) thinks I'm under the pump or pressure, he is first one to come and ask me that 'are you feeling something like that and you need not worry'," he recalled.
"Even last year there was a situation, where I started badly in IPL, so he was the one who came up first and asked me to relax and enjoy the game...it calmed my nerves a little bit and it helped me enjoy my game.
"There are lot of inputs he has given me throughout and they have not just helped in cricket but also helped me in life," he said.
Gaikwad joins the illustrious list of Maharashtra cricketers like Chandu Borde and Kedar Jadhav, who have played for India.
He said that Jadhav has played an influential role in his journey.
"Kedar (Jadhav) was with me from the start of my journey, from the time my first-class career started and I think he has been very influential right throughout the journey...he was always been encouraging me." New source PTI
Need to work hard and prove my worth for Tokyo selection: Indian women's hockey player Lilima Minz
Bengaluru, Jun 10 Experienced India women's hockey team midfielder Lilima Minz on Thursday said there is healthy competition in the side due to the emergence of many young talents and she will have to be at her best to guarantee a second Olympic appearance.
Lilima, a key player for India in the midfield, made her Olympic debut in 2016 Rio Games when the women's team qualified for the quadrennial event after 36 years.
Since then, she has been a regular in the Indian team, making 133 appearances so far.
"There are a lot of new and young players in this (national) camp who have brought a fresh approach and good healthy competition to the team.
"There is good competition for places in the final squad and I have to work hard and prove my worth for my inclusion if I want to make it there," Lilima said.
"That is what keeps me motivated to keep performing, as it is every player's dream to play the Olympics, and I know that all our players are all doing the same," added the 27-year-old from Odisha's Sundargarh district, famous for producing many international players.
Lilima said the mixture of youth and experience in the ongoing national camp here augurs well for the team.
"The Olympic core group right now there is a very healthy mix of experienced players and young players. This kind of balance allows the young players to have the guidance of senior members who know what it is like to play at the Olympic level before.
"At the same time, the young players keep the senior members on their toes as they know that there is someone who can replace them if do not perform well," she said.
"The fact that several players from 2016 Olympics squad are present here in this camp is a good thing because sometimes players can get overwhelmed at a grand occasion like the Olympics. This is where players who have been there before can offer their much needed advice." New source PTI
Kohli and Anushka's COVID fund-raising campaign gathers steam, nearly Rs 11 crore raised
Mumbai, May 12 Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and his actor wife Anushka Sharma have raised nearly Rs 11 crore in their fund-raising campaign to support COVID-19 relief work in india.
The Kohli couple themselves put Rs 2 crore and the funds raised through the campaign will be donated to Act Grants to aid COVID-19 relief.
Their aim was to raise Rs 7 crore through 'Ketto' but with two days still left, they have managed to surpass their target by a handsome margin.
MPL Sports Foundation, part of fantasy gaming company MPL, also donated Rs 5 crore.
"The campaign received overwhelmed response from the people," a press release said. News Soure : PTI
COVID takes down IPL: league suspended indefinitely after multiple cases in bio-bubble
New Delhi, May 4 The Indian Premier League was on Tuesday suspended indefinitely after multiple COVID-19 cases were reported in its bio-bubble, ending a month-long relatively smooth run for cricket's most glamorous and cash-rich event in the middle of a raging pandemic.
"The tournament has been suspended indefinitely. We will try to conduct the event in the next available window but this month is unlikely," league chairman Brijesh Patel told PTI.
The announcement came after Sunrisers Hyderabad's wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for COVID-19 along with Delhi Capitals' spinner veteran spinner Amit Mishra.
"...we will take stock if we can find a suitable window later during the year. It could be September but these are all speculations. As of now we are not conducting it any further," BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla told PTI.
On Monday, Chennai Super Kings bowling coach L Balaji along with Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy had also returned positive results.
The spread of infections had led to postponement of two IPL games earlier.
The league organisers also issued a formal statement and said that safety of its players and staff is paramount.
"The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect," the statement read.
"The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind," it added.
The IPL said BCCI will do all it can to ensure that players in the event get back to their homes safely. IPL features stars from England, Australia, and New Zealand among other countries.
"These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times," the IPL stated.
"The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021." The tournament began on April 9 and ran smoothly before KKR's COVID-19 cases caused the initial jitters on Monday. The tournament final was planned for May 30.
There was cause of concern in Delhi too as a few groundsmen at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium tested positive even though DDCA chief Rohan Jaitley asserted that "none of the groundsmen on duty" were among the infected.
Just days before this, three Australian players had pulled out of the league, citing COVID-19 concerns amid a devastating second wave of the global pandemic that has overwhelmed the medical infrastructure of the country.
The 2020 IPL had also been held in a bio-secure bubble in the UAE and at that time, infections were only reported before the start of the tournament.
India is currently recording over 3 lakh cases everyday and more than 3,000 daily deaths. News Source : PTI
COVID hits IPL: KKR-RCB match postponed after Chakravarthy, Warrier test positive
New Delhi, May 3 The COVID-19 storm struck IPL on Monday with Kolkata Knight Riders' Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier testing positive for the dreaded virus, forcing postponement of the team's game against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ahmedabad this evening.
The match will be rescheduled some time later during the tournament, which will conclude on May 30.
Leg-spinner Chakravarthy and pacer Warrier, both 30, have been isolated and the rest of the KKR contingent has returned negative reports for now. Of the two, Warrier has not yet made the playing XI in any of the seven matches KKR have played.
"Two members of the contingent have tested positive for COVID but we are waiting for their second test reports to avoid the false positive scenario that happened with Anrich Nortje of Delhi Capitals earlier," the source said on conditions of anonymity.
KKR last played on April 29 against Delhi Capitals in Ahmedabad and the development is bound to trigger some anxiety in the league, which had been going along smoothly so far.
"Now, the DC players will also have to be tested and every member of the team contingents that came in contact with Chakravarthy and Warrier will also be contact traced through the app watch that has been given to everyone," the source said.
"The other members of KKR contingent have tested negative but since the second RTPCR report of these two cannot be out before evening, the match couldn't have gone ahead at 7.30pm," he added.
According to IPL's Standard Operating Procedure for COVID-19 management, any close contact of an infected person has to isolate for six days and return three negative tests on days 1, 3 and 6.
It is learnt that KKR's pace spearhead Pat Cummins revealed the latest development to all the Australian players in the IPL after Chakravarthy, while undergoing some shoulder scans for a niggle after Thursday's game, tested positive for the virus.
The source said BCCI top officials are currently discussing the situation over a conference call.
Chakravarthy has appeared in all of KKR matches so far and been one of their most successful players with seven wickets under his belt.
IPL had dealt with positive cases before the tournament started, including some high-profile names like Axar Patel and Devdutt Padikkal.
However, this is the first instance of positive cases in the middle of the tournament.
Just days before this, three Australian players had pulled out of the league, citing COVID-19 concerns amid a devastating second wave of the global pandemic that has overwhelmed the medical infrastructure of the country.
India are currently recording over 3 lakh cases everyday and more than 3,000 daily deaths. News Source : PTI
Cricketer Nicholas Pooran says will donate part of his IPL salary to India's COVID-19 battle
New Delhi, Apr 30 Punjab Kings' West Indian batsman Nicholas Pooran has decided to donate a part of his IPL salary to help India fight the deadly resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scores of people across the country are dying in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic. India has reported over 3.86 lakh fresh COVID cases since Thursday.
Pooran urged Indians to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest.
"If you can get vaccinated please do, I will also do my part which is continue to pray for India but not only that, I would also like to donate a portion of my IPL salary towards this crisis," Pooran said in the video posted on Twitter.
The 25-year-old cricketer from Trinidad is aware of the toll the unprecedented health crisis is taking on India's overburdened medical infrastructure.
"To all my fans and supporters around the world and back home, I realise I am in a safe and privileged position here in India at the IPL.
"But it's also heartbreaking to be so close to such tragedy that's unfolding around us. For a country that has shown us so much love and support over the years, all I can do is join hands with my fellow players to help bring some awareness to this situation in India.
"The healthcare system is overwhelmed right now. The people can't get the attention they need because of the lack of oxygen supplies, I can't comprehend to start," Pooran said.
Pooran, who has played all the six matches for PBKS so far in IPL 2021, expressed his desire to play a part after his franchise too pledged support by providing oxygen concentrators.
"Although many other countries are still being affected by the pandemic, the situation in India right now is particularly severe. I will do my part to bring awareness and financial assistance to this dire situation," Pooran tweeted. News Source : PTI
Veteran Harbhajan floors KKR teammate Karthik with his work ethic
Mumbai, Apr 7 (PTI) Harbhajan Singh's childlike enthusiasm at 40-plus has floored Kolkata Knight Riders vice-captain Dinesh Karthik, who said the veteran off-spinner's dedication and interest at this stage of his career is a testament to his character. After going unsold in the first round of IPL auctions earlier this year, Harbhajan, who also played for Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians in the past, was bought by KKR for Rs 2 crore, a move that had raised many eyebrows. But Karthik said the veteran of 700-plus international wickets has overwhelmed everyone by his work ethic in the last one week after he joined the IPL side here. "He has been coming to practice sessions early, much ahead of all other players, and he has been doing it consistently. I think he is a different man now from whatever little I have seen of him this week," Karthik told KKR website on the sidelines of a practice match at the DY Patil Stadium. "Picking him I think wasn't easy, considering that he has been around for so long. But the amount of interest and intensity he has shown in the last one week is just fabulous." Having made his Test debut way back in 1998, Harbhajan is gearing up for his 23rd professional season. Karthik said Harbhajan has even been attending optional training sessions, where he is batting his heart out. "Even in a practice game that starts at 7pm, he comes at 4 o'clock. He was batting before that, he bowled to Shakib (Al Hasan) and (Eoin) Morgan, and then did his stretching again before getting into the practice game. "He is bowling in the match and also fielding all 20 overs. That's about as much as you can ask for from a man of his stature. He has achieved everything, yet to show this kind of interest at this stage of his career speaks volumes of him as a character. I am sure he will do a great job for KKR," Karthik said. KKR will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opening match of IPL 2021 in Chennai on Sunday.
Was confident that next player from Karnataka would be Prasidh: Rahul
Pune, Mar 25 (PTI) KL Rahul isn't surprised by India's newest pace sensation Prasidh Krishna's smash-hit international debut as he always felt that it was about time that he would join the ranks of big names from Karnataka, who have already donned national colours. Prasidh, who had made a name for himself with his performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Kolkata Knight Riders, took four wickets on his ODI debut against England. "Look, quite honestly, I am not surprised with what he (Prasidh) did yesterday (Tuesday). I was always very confident that the next player that is going to come out of Karnataka, is going to be Prasidh," said the pacer's state team captain. "We weren't of the same batch, but I have watched him play a lot of junior cricket and in the nets, he is somebody, who will catch your eye," Rahul said at the virtual press conference, ahead of the second ODI against England. The best part according to Rahul is Prasidh's abiity to bowl quick. "(He is a) tall guy (who) bowls quick, gets a lot of bounce from the wicket, and something having played with him in the last couple of seasons for Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare, I realised that he is a brave boy." Rahul is also impressed by his game sense. "He has a great sense of the game, it's not just his skill but how he understands and reads the game. He is a very keen learner and he is, like I said, very brave and comes in with a lot of aggression," Rahul said. Rahul is confident that Prasidh will be a great asset for Indian cricket if he keeps on working hard. "We saw in the last game, he was trying to have a word or two with the batsmen and he enjoys being in a contest and that's is something I love, about him," Rahul said. "....and I am so happy to see that he is carrying on the same thing and he wasn't overwhelmed by the place he is in, playing his first game for the country, I am sure there will be lot of nerves "but the way he came back after the first three overs, got those crucial wickets, so these are the qualities that a player and as a team, a lot of us are impressed with, what he has done." For Rahul, the manner in which each newcomer has performed in this series can be attributed to consistent show in the domestic cricket for years. "I think a huge part is the IPL and the confidence that these boys come in with. And whoever has coming into the team, is not because they have performed in one season of the IPL or one season of first-class cricket but it has been 2-3 years of consistent performances and at whatever level they play, or wherever they play," said Rahul, who captains the Punjab Kings, in the T20 league. But obviusly having played all the top English players in IPL did help their performance, Rahul admitted. "Obviously, you would have heard Surya (Suryakumar Yadav), Ishan (Kishan) and Krunal (Pandya), in their interviews saying that they have played against most of these guys in the IPL at some point and they know how they go about their games and IPL performances have obviously given them a lot of confidence and they have carried that confidence into playing for their country," he noted. Rahul also said that the team management also gives confidence to the youngsters "And it is something also the team, the management and the environment here in the Indian team, what we try to do is to give the confidence to youngsters coming in and I feel weird calling them youngsters, because we have seen them for so many years, we have seen them perform and when they come in, we want all the players to continue to do what they are doing," he signed off.
I will be back soon stronger: Iyer
Pune, Mar 25 (PTI) India batsman Shreyas Iyer on Thursday vowed to come back even stronger after a shoulder injury ruled him out of the ongoing ODI series against England as well as the entire IPL starting next month. Iyer dislocated his left shoulder while fielding during the first ODI against England on Tuesday and he is set to undergo surgery, which will rule him out of action for a minimum four months. "You know what they say, the greater the setback, the stronger the comeback. I shall be back soon," Iyer tweeted. "I've been reading your messages and have been overwhelmed by all the outpouring of love and support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone." The 26-year-old is also unlikely to play for English county side Lancashire in their one-day tournament. Lancashire had on Monday announced the signing of Iyer for the tournament starting on July 23. Iyer suffered the injury in the eighth over of the England innings when he dived on a drive hit by Jonny Bairstow off pacer Shardul Thakur. He looked in tremendous pain as he left the field clutching his shoulder. On Tuesday, the BCCI had stated, "Shreyas Iyer subluxated (partially dislocated) his left shoulder in the 8th over while fielding. He has been taken for further scans." Iyer had led Delhi Capitals to the final in the previous edition of the IPL. In his absence, the DC captaincy could be handed to either Rishabh Pant, Australian Steve Smith or senior off-spinner R Ashwin.
After record-breaking fifty on debut, Krunal Pandya breaks down remembering late father
Pune, Mar 23 (PTI) India batsman Krunal Pandya smashed the fastest fifty by an ODI debutant during the first match against England here on Tuesday and broke down remembering his father who died in January this year after suffering a heart attack. The 30-year-old Krunal was handed the India cap by his younger brother and star all-rounder Hardik. He reached the half century mark in just 26 balls, overtaking John Morris (35 balls) of New Zealand. Krunal broke down while being interviewed by the host broadcaster after his blistering unbeaten knock of 58 (31 balls), which was studded with seven fours and two sixes. "This one is for my father," was all that Krunal could tell commentator Murali Kartik when asked about his unbeaten knock before being overwhelmed by emotions. He was enveloped by Hardik in a tight hug soon after. For Krunal, the last three months have been an emotional roller-coaster. In January, he had an ugly tiff with state-mate Deepak Hooda who accused the Baroda captain of bullying him during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy camp. Hooda left the camp after that and was subsequently suspended for the entire season by the Baroda team management, which backed Krunal on the matter. Weeks after the controversy, Krunal lost his father Himanshu and had to leave the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy bio-bubble to be with his family.
Demoralised India look to avoid series whitewash against South Africa
Lucknow, Mar 22 (PTI) The series already out of their grasp, Indian women would look to avoid a whitewash and end it on a positive note when they take on South Africa in the third and final T20 International here on Tuesday. After losing the ODI rubber 1-4, things went from bad to worse for the Indian team as it lost the first two T20Is to hand South Africa an unassailable 0-2 lead in the series. In fact, this is the first time that the Indian women's team has lost a T20 series against the South Africans. The Indians approached the series against South Africa, their first in a year, with an aim to shrug off their rustiness and prepare for the ODI World Cup, to be held in 12 months' time. But things didn't go as per plan as the momentum India gained with good performances from 2017 to 2019 got lost somewhere after they were completely outplayed in the two limited overs formats by South Africa, a side they have beaten consistently over the years. From poor fielding by Richa Ghosh, Rajeshwari Gaikawad and Arundhati Reddy, to Deepti Sharma's struggles with the bat and stand-in skipper Smriti Mandhana's unimaginative captaincy, nothing went according to plan for India in the first two T20Is. After posting a below-par 130 for 6 in the first T20I, which South Africa chased down with eight wickets in hand, the Indians fared a tad better in the next match, scoring 158 for four. But the target was not enough as the visitors overwhelmed it with six wickets in hand. Harleen Deol and Shefali Verma has been among the runs in both the matches but inconsistent performances of Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrirues and Richa Ghosh did not help India's cause. India seem to be badly missing the services of regular skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, who is out with a hip injury. On the bowling front too, the spin trio of Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav and spinning all-rounder Deepti failed to live up to expectations, while pacers Arundhati Reddy and Simran Dil Bahadur, too, have been ineffective. South Africa, on the other hand, looked like a well-oiled machine as both their batters and bowlers have excelled on the tour. Lizlee Lee, Anneke Bosch and Laura Wolvaardt have been in red-hot form with the bat. Skipper Sune Luus, too, is in good touch, while Mignon du Preez didn't get much opportunity to showcase her mettle in the shortest format. Shabnim Ismail and Bosch shone with the ball for South Africa. Teams (from): Indian women: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Nuzhat Parveen (wicket-keeper), Ayushi Soni, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Mansi Joshi, Monica Patel, C. Prathyusha, Simran Dil Bahadur. South Africa women: Sune Luus (captain), Ayabonga Khaka, Shabnim Ismail, Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty, Sinalo Jafta, Tasmin Britz, Marizanne Kapp, Nondumiso Shangase, Lizelle Lee, Anneke Bosch, Faye Tunnicliffe, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Mignon du Preez, Nadine de Klerk, Lara Goodall, Tumi Sekhukhune. Match starts at 7pm IST.
Massive Motera leaves India stars astonished
Ahmedabad, Feb 20 (PTI) India's globe-trotting cricketers were astonished by the sight of the world's biggest stadium in Motera as it took them an hour to get used to the facility whose dressing rooms are connected to the gym. The 1,10,000 capacity stadium is set to host its first international match -- the Day/Night pink ball Test between India and England from February 24. "To be honest, to be in the word's largest stadium, we actually cannot wait to have the fans around and see the atmosphere, which will be tremendous," said flamboyant all-rounder Hardik Pandya in a video posted by the BCCI. "All the boys loved it, I think, for us, it took almost one hour to get used to the size of the ground, the kind of facilities it has provided us, I feel really, really proud that we have this in India, where we can host so many people and we can have wonderful games here." Overwhelmed at its size and facilities, Pandya continued, "To be honest, I have not seen a gym connected to my dressing room... for the first time I think I have seen a gym connected to the dressing room, which is fantastic. "I can't thank the GCA enough and all the people who have worked really hard to make a stadium so wonderful that we can't wait to actually come back again and play here." The four-match Test series is tied at 1-1 after India made a strong comeback with a resounding 317-run victory in the second match in Chennai. Speaking about the new stadium, India number three Cheteshwar Pujara said, "It's an amazing feeling, it's a huge, huge stadium and we all are looking forward to playing our first pink ball Test at Motera." "It's an amazing ground with big dressing rooms, it's quite spacious and we are enjoying the facilities out here." He also spoke about the gym. "The gym is next to the dressing room so you know it's very useful for guys who want to train in between the game or whenever there is time. Gym is excellent, it's quite spacious and we did our first gym session here today and we had a good time." The stadium will also host the fourth and final Test between the two countries. Opener Mayank Agarwal said, "To enter Motera and see the stands, the way it's built, it's fantastic. It's a massive ground, never before have we played in such a big ground and it feels great. "We came specifically to the ground today just to have a gym session and a few of us wanted to run. We have never seen an association having a gym facility like that, it was a pleasure training here." The promising Shubman Gill, who has impressed in the chances he has got so far, said, "It's such a proud moment for all of us, the world's biggest stadium is here in India. Facilities are excellent and everything is spacious, it's huge."
I would love to be part of England's T20 World Cup squad Root
New Delhi, Feb 3 (PTI) England's Test captain Joe Root wants to be in the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup though he understands it is not going to be a cakewalk for one of the country's finest batsmen in the game's traditional format. Root will be appearing in his 100 Test when he leads England in the series opening match against India from Friday. The focus, for now, is the four-match Test series but the technically sound Root has not given up on his T20 ambitions, months after being ignored for a series against Australia at home. "For me, the most important thing is that England go into that World Cup with the strongest squad and give ourselves the best chance of winning there, and hopefully, I can be a part of that squad," Root said on BBC's Test Match Special. "... And if no then I will be backing those guys because it would be a huge achievement on the back of what we have achieved in 50 over world cup." The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in India later this year. The 30-year-old Root, one of the world's best batsmen in Test cricket, has so far scored 893 runs in 32 T20 Internationals with five half centuries at a strike rate of 126.3. "Absolutely, I would love to be a part of that World Cup squad, I love playing all three formats, everything is a different challenge," Root said. "I haven't had the opportunity to play a huge amount of T20 games in the last few years, but I am also aware of the guys who are playing some amazing cricket, they are brilliant players and fully deserve their chance. "But if I get an opportunity, all I can do is try to score as many runs as I can when it comes to T20 games." Root, who has notched up very impressive numbers in Test cricket, in which he averages nearly 50, says doesn't really lose his sleep over statistics. "I have never really been one for numbers, I have been more about winning games and obviously if you are scoring big runs you are helping the team. "More important is how many games you can really affect and home many games you can contribute and help England win. That's always been my mindset, that will always be my mindset. "Of course, at the end of my career, I will probably look at things slightly differently, but for now all I am concerned about is doing my part for the team and score as many runs as I can." Though he is on the verge of completing a century of Test matches, Root plans to carry on for a long time, taking inspiration from veterans James Anderson and Stuart Broad. "At the moment, the way I see things, is that I want to play as long as possible, I can't see where it's going to stop. "The way Jimmy and Broady keep going and get better and better, they are an inspiration for someone like me. Hopefully that fire, that drive stays there in me and I can keep going." Root, who made his Test debut in India during England's memorable series triumph in 2012, recalled his first day in the game in Nagpur. "Once I walked out, I completely forgot the situation of the game and the magnitude of it. "I was just so overwhelmed and happy and enjoying that moment, to get opportunities for England, play Test cricket, to be walking up to Kevin Pietersen at the other end, I just couldn't stop smiling. "I just took a little bit time to refocus, to stop thinking that Sachin Tendulkar stood at mid-off, and Kevin Pietersen watching at the other end, just really focussed on the job in hand, and thankfully, I managed to stay there for some time and help us get across the line." Root said he seems to have reached 100 Tests "rather quickly." "It feels like yesterday, walking around in Nagpur. Hopefully, it's not the end of the journey, and there is plenty of games to come, and plenty of fantastic memories to make."
SCEB ropes in veteran Subrata Paul for remainder of ISL season
Panaji, Jan 26 (PTI) Indian Super League side SC East Bengal on Tuesday signed Subrata Paul for the remainder of the season, taking the star goalkeeper on loan from Hyderabad FC. Paul, 34, played six matches for Hyderabad with two clean sheets before being loaned out. This will be Paul's second stint with SCEB after the 2008-09 season in which he bagged the Federation Cup. "I can't explain how happy and and overwhelmed I am to be back at SC East Bengal. I know the weight and meaning of the red and gold colours and I consider blessed to be a part of SC East Bengal. I cannot wait to get on the pitch and let them shine," said Paul in a media release. SCEB coach Robbie Fowler was delighted to get the services of the veteran custodian. "Subrata is vastly experienced and has been doing an amazing job between the sticks for a long time now. His signing bolsters our goalkeeping options. Subrata's wealth of experience will also help the other keepers around," SCEB head coach and Liverpool legend Fowler said. SCEB goalkeeping coach Bobby Mimms added: "We all know his experience and the quality that he has got. I have worked with him before at Jamshedpur FC and I know what he can bring to the squad. So hopefully he is ready to compete with Debjit (Majumder) for the first team place." Nicknamed the 'Spiderman' for his heart-stopping saves during India's AFC Asian Cup campaign in Qatar in 2011, Paul has donned the India colours 67 times and is one of the few Indian players with European pedigree, having plied his trade for Danish club Vestsjaelland. It was for his exploits against South Korea in the Asian Cup that Paul was nicknamed 'Spiderman' by the international media. Paul has kept as many as 28 clean sheets in his ISL career with 91 appearances with clubs like Mumbai City FC, NorthEast United, Jamshedpur FC, and Hyderabad FC. An Arjuna award recipient, Paul has been part of India's title-winning sides that won the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, 2015 SAFF Championships besides Nehru Cup triumphs in 2009 and 2012.
Shocked Ponting could not comprehend how India's A team won series
Brisbane, Jan 20 (PTI) A "shocked" Ricky Ponting is struggling to comprehend how India's "A team" overwhelmed Australia in the Test series in their own backyard. Hit by a spate injuries, India competed without many a key players, yet downed Australia by three wickets in the series-deciding fourth Test at the Gabba, a month after the Adelaide debacle where they scored their lowest Test score of 36. "I'm quite shocked that Australia weren't quite good enough to win this series. The cold hard facts of it are pretty much that was the India A team that played this Test match and still won," Ponting told cricket.com.au. "Considering everything the Indian team has been through in the last five or six weeks, with the captain leaving, all the injuries they've had“ they've been through 20 players“ (Australia) have been at full-strength, bar Davey (Warner) missing early on, so it's really hard to comprehend. "It's probably not even (India's) second-picked team because you think of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma and those guys who didn't even make it out here. Rohit Sharma turns up for the last two Test matches only." Ponting said India won all the key moments throughout the series and that was the difference between the two sides. "They've played really good, tough, hard Test match cricket day-in and day-out. India have won all the big moments in every Test match and Australia have fallen short. That's been the difference between the two teams." "They (India) have done it really well and they thoroughly deserve to win the series ... because (of) how resilient they've been." The legendary batsman, who coached Delhi Capitals in the last IPL in the UAE, said all the setbacks India had to deal with showed the depth and the talent the country has. "Washington Sundar looked like he had played 50 Test matches through the course of this game and never looked out of place," Ponting said. "Shardul Thakur was the same in his second Test match, picked up seven wickets and scored 60-odd handy runs in the first innings. "I've been around the IPL a long time so I know the talent that they do have in India, but when you've got to step up on a big stage in a Test match against Australia it's a different story." He said Australia should be concerned that a depleted Indian team was good enough to beat them. "We gave Australia the benefit of doubt the last time India were here because Warner and (Steve) Smith weren't there. But this time, Australia's at full strength and India are on the bones of their squad“ they're playing net bowlers in Test matches and they're still winning. That's the worry for Australia. "We're probably digging deeper than even an Indian A team and they've still been good enough to win two Test matches here in Australia, and good enough to win one in Brisbane, which just doesn't happen," Ponting said.