Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 9 (ANI): England’s winning start against India in the series has kept alive their chances of making it to the final ICC World Test Championship but Virat Kohli isn’t bothered about the points table as the skipper wants to focus on the things which the hosts can control like playing good cricket in the upcoming games.
Last year, the ICC had decided to change the point-rating system of WTC due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The WTC table has now been revised to rank teams based on the percentage of points earned from the series played, meaning teams are ranked in order of percentage of points earned.
Kohli wasn’t happy with the logic behind the change in the rating system. The Indian skipper said the team will go ahead with a similar mindset as nothing changes for the hosts despite England toppling India in the WTC points table.
“We will look at the upcoming games in the same way as we have looked up till now. Nothing changes for us, If suddenly the rules can change when you are in lockdown nothing is in your control at all. The only thing which is in your control is what you do on the field,” said Kohli while replying to a query from ANI during the virtual press conference.
“So you are not bothered about the table or the things which are going outside. For somethings, there is no logic for something you can have a debate for hours as much as you want. The only thing you can control as the side is playing good cricket and that’s our only focus regardless of who is on top of the table,” he added.
The victory at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday has lifted England to first place and 70.2 percentage points on the points table and they’ve improved their chances of securing one of the three series results in their favour that could see them through to the final – 3-1, 3-0 or 4-0.
Kohli said hosts’ focus will be on playing good cricket in the remaining three games and the Indian skipper isn’t looking at who is on the top of the WTC standings right now.
“Before this Test match you were not even thinking of England’s chances and suddenly you are talking about they are on top of the table. These things keep changing all the time. Our focus is only playing good cricket,” said Kohli while replying to a query from ANI.
New Zealand has already qualified for the final winning 70.0 per cent of their matches (with no other series scheduled) while India and Australia remain in contention for the other place along with England.
Meanwhile, India, who have slipped to the fourth position with 68.3 percentage points, cannot afford another loss in the four-match series and will be looking to win at least two of the remaining three matches to secure a 2-1 or 3-1 result and a place in the final.
Australia will get to feature in a Trans-Tasman summit clash if the India-England series is drawn or if England wins 1-0, 2-1, or 2-0.
Pakistan’s 2-0 home win over South Africa sees them finish the series in the fifth position with 43.3 percentage points, while South Africa slip to the sixth position with 30.0 percentage points. (ANI)
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Ind vs Eng: Michael Vaughan takes a dig at the pitch ahead of fourth Test
New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Former England skipper Michael Vaughan on Tuesday, once again, took a dig at the wickets that have been prepared in the ongoing Test series between India and England.
Vaughan has been quite vocal in his criticism of the pitches used in the series and went a step further and asked for the ICC to look into the wickets prepared after the third game ended in two days.
Taking to Instagram, Vaughan on Tuesday shared a picture of him standing in dugup soil with a bat in his hands. “Preparations going well for the 4th Test !! #OnOn #INDvENG,” he wrote in the caption.
Riding on brilliant spells of spin bowling from Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, India had registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the pink-ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium last week to go 2-1 up in the four-match series.
In the match, both India and England batsmen failed to shine. But critics have looked to blame the pitch for the failure of the batsmen. Commenting on the pitch during the match, Vaughan had tweeted: “Let’s be honest this is not a 5 day Test pitch !! #INDvENG.”
However, after the match, Rohit Sharma had clarified that he did not think the pitch had any demons. Even India skipper Virat Kohli was vocal about the dreadful batting display from the two teams.
If India manage to win or draw the final Test against England, then the side will qualify for the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) and they will take on New Zealand in the summit clash. The fourth Test will begin on Thursday. (ANI)
Ind vs Eng: Team India shift focus to fielding ahead of fourth Test
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 2 (ANI): A day after training in the nets, the Indian cricket team on Tuesday shifted focus to fielding to ensure utmost sharpness in the upcoming fourth and final Test against England, having taken a 2-1 lead in the series.
While batsman Mayank Agarwal was seen taking a diving catch, all-rounder Washington Sundar was seen throwing the ball back seconds after collecting it at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Spinner Kuldeep Yadav and pacer Umesh Yadav also took part in the fielding drill ahead of the fourth Test. The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India shared the glimpse from the fielding session.
Earlier on Monday, the BCCI shared a video on Twitter to give a sneak peek of the net session. In the video, India skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane can be seen batting in the nets while Rohit Sharma can be seen having a chat with head coach Ravi Shastri.
In the ongoing series, Rohit, Axar Patel, and Ravichandran Ashwin have been the standout performers and now in the fourth Test, skipper Kohli would look to come to the party and end his century-drought.
Kohli had last scored a century way back in 2019 in a day-night Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens.
If India manage to win or draw the final Test against England, then the side will qualify for the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) and the side would take on New Zealand in the summit clash.
India had managed to defeat England by ten wickets within two days in the pink-ball Test. The match saw both India and England batsmen failing to shine and getting out to balls that did not turn and skidded through from the spinners.
But critics have looked to blame the pitch for the failure of the batsmen. After the match, Rohit had clarified that he did not think the pitch had any demons. Even Kohli was vocal about the dreadful batting display from the two teams.
The hosts are leading the series 2-1 and the fourth Test of the series will commence on Thursday. (ANI)
PSL 6: Two overseas cricketers test positive for COVID-19 after Fawad Ahmed
Karachi [Pakistan], March 2 (ANI): A day after it was revealed that Australia leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed contracted COVID-19, two overseas players involved in the ongoing sixth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) have tested positive for coronavirus.
The Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators match was then rescheduled for Tuesday after the spinner returned a positive COVID-19 test.
According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, 244 PCR tests were done and three people have returned positive for coronavirus while around 40 tests results, all from one team, are awaited.
Two foreign players and one support staff are the ones who have been tested positive for coronavirus in the latest round of testing. However, the match between Gladiators and United will go ahead as planned, start time 7 pm (local time).
“#HBLPSL6 updates: Tuesday’s match between Gladiators and United to go ahead as scheduled, start time 7 pm,” PSL tweeted.
Islamabad United on Monday informed that all other players of their team have returned a negative result for coronavirus.
“One of our players, Fawad Ahmed tested positive for Covid and was immediately put in isolation 2 days ago. All other Islamabad United players and members have tested negative and have been cleared to play. We wish Fawad a speedy recovery,” Islamabad United tweeted.
Fawad on Monday thanked his fans for the kind messages and urged everyone to stay safe from the deadly virus.
“Thanks for all the kind messages, please keep remember me in ur prayers, much needed @IsbUnited @thePSLt20, and please everyone stay safe,” Fawad tweeted.
Islamabad United won the first two games in the tournament but a four-wicket haul from Wahab Riaz handed United the first defeat of the season on Saturday. Riaz led Peshawar Zalmi to a comfortable six-wicket win over Islamabad United in the 10th fixture of the PSL 6 at Karachi’s National Stadium on Saturday. (ANI)
Liverpool mourns demise of former player Ian St John
Liverpool [UK], March 2 (ANI): Liverpool on Tuesday mourned the demise of former player Ian St John, who died at the age of 82.
“Liverpool Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing of Reds legend Ian St John, aged 82,” the club said in a statement.
St John passed away on Monday evening following illness, the club said.
The former forward made 425 appearances for the club over the course of a hugely successful decade between 1961 and 1971, scoring 118 goals.
Under the management of Bill Shankly, St John was the scorer of one of the most iconic goals in Liverpool’s history when he netted in extra time to secure their first ever FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Leeds United in 1965.
League title wins were achieved either side in 1964 and 1966, while the Scot had earlier helped the Reds into the First Division by gaining promotion in his first season following his transfer for a then club-record fee of £37,500 from Motherwell.
Liverpool also mentioned Ian’s family’s statement which read: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to inform you that after a long illness we have lost a husband, father and grandfather. He passed away peacefully with his family at his bedside.” (ANI)
Zidane feels Real Madrid ‘deserved a lot more’ after draw against Real Sociedad
Madrid [Spain], March 2 (ANI): Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is not quite satisfied with the point his team secured against Real Sociedad and said his side “deserved a lot more” from the game.
Real Madrid and Real Sociedad played out a 1-1 draw in the LaLiga here on Tuesday.
“We deserved a lot more, particularly when you look at the chances we created. We didn’t put them away, especially in the first half and that could have changed the complexion of the game. They had one chance and scored,” the club’s official website quoted Zidane as saying.
“That’s the way things go in football. We’ve had games where we won when we perhaps didn’t deserve to. This doesn’t change anything. I think we’re in good shape, that’s now five wins and a draw and we must remember that there’s still a long way to go,” he added.
During the match, Portu scored the opening goal, putting Real Sociedad ahead in the 55th minute. However, Vinicius Junior’s goal in the dying minutes of the game saved Real Madrid from the defeat, and the match concluded on the same.
Securing one point from the game, Real Madrid now have 53 points, five points behind table-toppers Atletico Madrid.
Reiterating that there is still a long way to go, Zidane said his side needs to keep picking up points.
“All of the teams drop points over the course of the season. We know that we have to keep putting points on the board. We’ve also dropped points and will be trying to keep picking up the points. It’s the last time I’ll say it, but there’s still a long way to go,” he said. (ANI)
Former Indian cricketer Madan Lal gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine
New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Madan Lal, who was an integral part of the World Cup-winning Indian team in 1983, on Tuesday received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Lal, 69, took the vaccine at the Jeewan hospital and nursing home. The former India pacer was “proud” to get the jab and praised the “organised and well-handed” procedure employed in the hospital.
“In the fight against Covid -19 .. I’m vaccine strong!!! “Proud to get the Jab “. Organized and well handled at Jeewan hospital and nursing home !!” Lal tweeted.
Earlier in the day, Team India head coach Ravi Shastri took the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Shastri, 58, got the jab at the Apollo Hospital in Ahmedabad.
The second phase of Covid-19 vaccination — for those above 60 years of age, and people between 45 and 59 years of age with specific comorbidities — began on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with other political leaders, got vaccinated on the first day.
Shastri is currently with the Indian cricket team participating in a four-match Test series against England.
Virat Kohli’s men are 2-1 up in the series, having won the third Test, played with the pink ball, by 10 wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium here last week. The fourth and final Test of the series is slated to begin on Thursday.
India requires only a draw in the fourth game in order to seal their berth in the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final, scheduled to be played at the Lord’s, London from June 18-22. New Zealand has already secured a spot in the WTC final. (ANI)
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