Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 12 (ANI): The England cricket team will make four changes in the second Test against India which gets underway on Saturday at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Pacer Jofra Archer was ruled out for the second Test on Thursday and Jos Buttler has been rested for the last three Tests. Dom Bess and James Anderson will also miss the second Test, skipper Joe Root confirmed on Friday. Ben Foakes, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, and Moeen Ali are likely to play the second Test against India.
“England to make four changes in the final XII. Bess, Anderson, Archer, and Buttler miss out. We are giving Anderson the best opportunity to be fully fit for the last two Tests,” Root said in a virtual press conference organised by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday
Root also confirmed that Foakes will take the gloves in all three Tests and Jonny Bairstow is likely to return as a specialist batsman for the last two Tests.
England final XII for the second Test: Dom Sibley, Rory Burns, Dan Lawrence, Joe Root(C), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, Jack Leach, Olly Stone.
Last week, England opener Zak Crawley was ruled out for the first two Tests against India due to an injury on his right wrist.
The Kent player sustained the injury during England’s practice in Chennai on February 2 when he slipped on the marble floor leaving the dressing rooms onto the field of play. The England medical team is assessing his progress at the moment.
England defeated India by 227 runs in the first Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday. England’s winning start against India in their ICC World Test Championship series has kept alive the visiting side’s hopes of making the final of the nine-team competition.
The victory at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday 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.
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.
The second Test will be played in Chennai at the MA Chidambaram Stadium before the cricketers move to Ahmedabad for the third and fourth Test. (ANI)
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Indo-Pak Express Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi to team-up for Acapulco ATP 500
New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): India’s Rohan Bopanna and Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, also known as Indo-Pak Express, is all set to team-up again for the Acapulco ATP 500 event in Mexico, according to the tournament entry list.
The tournament is slated to begin on March 15. The development was confirmed after Bopanna retweeted a tweet that said the pair is set to team-up again. They last played together in 2014.
While they started off as a pair in 2007, the pair broke into the top ten in men’s doubles ranking in 2010. Before that, they had won four Challenger titles. But 2010 saw them give it their best shot as they reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and finished runners-up in the US Open. They also won the Johannesburg Open.
Last month, Bopanna and his Japanese partner Ben McLachlan crashed out of the Australian Open after losing to South Korean pair of Ji Sung Nam and Min-Kyu Song in their first-round men’s doubles clash.
Earlier on Monday, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza made a winning return to the WTA circuit as she along with her partner Andreja Klepac of Slovenia progressed to the quarter-finals of the Qatar Total Open.
The pair of Mirza and Klepac defeated Ukranian’s pair of Nadiia Kichenok and Lyudmyla Kichenok 6-4 6-7(5) 10-5 in the opening round.
This match was Sania’s first in 12 months’ time and co-incidentally, this Qatar Open was the last tournament she played last year when all competitions were put to a halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (ANI)
IPL gave us the platform to express: Rahane rubbishes Steyn’s comments
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 2 (ANI): The Indian Premier League (IPL) has not only provided uncapped Indian players an opportunity to showcase their talent against the best in the business, but also given overseas players a chance to make an impression. But Dale Steyn has said he turned his back on the IPL because he found the PSL and the Sri Lankan Premier League “slightly more rewarding as a player”.
India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Tuesday rubbished all the claims which stated that sometimes the emphasis is on the money in the IPL rather than the game. Rahane, who has even captained teams in the showpiece event, said the IPL gave players the perfect platform to express themselves in the shortest format of the game.
“See, I am here to talk about the fourth Test match and not here to talk about PSL or Sri Lanka Premier League. IPL gave us that platform to express ourselves and also to a lot of Indians players. I am not sure what Dale Steyn has said, I am here to talk about this Test match,” said Rahane during a virtual press conference.
South Africa pacer Dale Steyn said that sometimes emphasis may be placed on the amount a player is bought for in the IPL and as a result, cricket ends up taking a backseat. He is currently playing for the Quetta Gladiators in the ongoing Pakistan Super League.
Meanwhile, Rahane confirmed that Umesh Yadav is good to go for the fourth Test as the pacer has faired well at the nets. “Umesh is ready to go, he is looking really good and he is bowling really well. He had a good session in the nets and we are really happy that he is back,” said Rahane.
A draw will seal India’s place in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) but Rahane insisted the hosts will go for the win in the fourth and final Test against England.
“We always look to win the Test match, we are not looking for a draw so this Test is no different. We are not focusing on what will happen in June. We are just focusing on this Test match,” said Rahane. (ANI)
I-League: Real Kashmir FC, Churchill Brothers to kick start phase 2 on Friday
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 2 (ANI): The business end of the ongoing I-League, that is the second phase is all set to begin on Friday at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, where Real Kashmir FC and Churchill Brothers FC Goa will get the proceedings underway.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the matches in the I-League are being staged across four venues — the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, the Kishore Bharati Krirangan, and the Mohun Bagan Ground in Kolkata, and the Kalyani Municipal Stadium in Kalyani, West Bengal.
The 11 clubs will continue to operate from within the bio-bubble in Kolkata. Based on the results in Phase one, the teams have been divided into two groups — Group A and B.
While the teams that finished in the top six spots in Phase I will move into Group A and will fight for the I-League title, those in the bottom five will be locked in a relegation battle in Group B. Both teams in the respective groups will face each other once in a round-robin format.
“This is a completely new format, something that no team in the I-League has experienced so far. Seeing how close the teams have been so far, we are definitely expecting an exciting fight on the cards — be it the fight to be crowned champions, or a relegation scrap. My best wishes to all the teams,” the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Leagues CEO Sunando Dhar said in a statement.
The action in Group A kicks off at the VYBK on Friday, with Real Kashmir FC taking on Churchill Brothers FC Goa, while that of Group B will begin on Saturday as Chennai City FC take on Sudeva Delhi FC. (ANI)
Injured Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin ruled out until April
Newcastle upon Tyne [UK], March 2 (ANI): Newcastle United on Tuesday announced that Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin will be out of action until April due to their respective injuries.
Both players picked injuries during the club’s Premier League clash against Wolves on Sunday (local time). The match had ended in a 1-1 draw.
“Newcastle United forwards Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin will be out of action until April after picking up injuries during the Magpies’ 1-1 draw with Wolves on Saturday,” the club said in a statement.
“Almiron sustained a knee injury and had to be replaced at half time, while Saint-Maximin suffered a groin injury in the 63rd minute,” it added.
The club said both will continue their rehabilitation with the club’s medical team. “Both have undergone scans and will continue their rehabilitation with the club’s medical team,” the statement read.
It is a major blow to the club as they are currently struggling in the Premier League. Newcastle United is placed in the 17th spot on the table at the moment with 26 points from as many games.
The side will next play against West Brom on March 7. (ANI)
Ind vs Eng: Pitch for 4th Test would be similar to second and third Test, says Rahane
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 2 (ANI): India’s Test deputy Ajinkya Rahane on Tuesday said that the pitch for the fourth Test against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium would be similar to the second and third Test.
India had managed to defeat England by ten wickets within two days in the third Test at the same venue. 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. India batsman Rohit Sharma clarified that he did not think the pitch had any demons. Even skipper Virat Kohli was vocal about the dreadful batting display from the two teams.
“The wicket would be similar to the third Test and also the second Test what we played in Chennai. The wicket would be similar, yes the pink ball made the difference, it was coming much quicker off the wicket as compared to the red ball. That was an adjustment we had to make but as I said the wicket would be a lot similar to the last two Test matches,” Rahane said during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
“The pitch looks pretty similar, I do not know how it is going to play, we have to wait and see. We respect England, they are a very good and balanced team. We played really good cricket in the last two Tests. England played really well in the first Test, we are not taking them lightly. It is another Test match, we want to give our best. Even England will want to do well and win the Test match. For us, it is about playing as a unit and playing to our strengths,” he added.
When asked whether DRS has changed the approach of batsmen, Rahane replied: “I do not think so that the approach has changed because of the DRS. It’s all in the mind, DRS is really helping all the teams because you can review the decisions and take your chances. But I do not think mentally wise, as a batsmen especially, not many changes.
“It is important to play the line when the ball is turning, but with the pink ball, it was completely different. The ball was skidding on, the pace was different from the red ball. We have hardly played with the pink ball, this was our third game with it, we need to practice more with the pink ball. When you play on spinning tracks, it is all about playing the line,” he added. (ANI)
Ishant was right, winning WTC would be like winning the World Cup: Rahane
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 2 (ANI): India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Tuesday echoed pacer Ishant Sharma’s emotions and said winning the World Test Championship (WTC) would be similar to winning the World Cup.
India currently has a 2-1 lead in the ongoing four-match series against England and if the hosts manage to win or draw the final Test, they would secure their berth in the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC).
“Absolutely, Ishant was spot on in what he said. Winning the WTC is equal to winning the World Cup. We are all focusing on that, having said that, the focus right now is to play the fourth Test against England. Ishant was completely right,” said Rahane while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
In the ongoing series against England, Rahane has managed to score just 85 runs and his highest score of 67 came in the second Test at Chepauk. 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.
“When you play on spinning tracks, you have to play the line and you know that. In India, we haven’t played so many games in the last two-three years. When you play on that spinning and seaming wickets, it’s all about playing the line, when the ball is spinning too much, you do not have to think about it, you just have to play the line, if you miss the ball, you miss the ball. Backing your defence and ability on seaming and spinning wicket is something we follow,” said Rahane.
Earlier, pacer Ishant Sharma had said that the WTC is like a World Cup for him and if India goes on to win the Test championship, then it would be a similar feeling to winning the World Cup.
“I am just focused on how to win this series and qualify for the finals of the WTC. I just play one format, WTC is like a World Cup for me, if we play the finals and then we go on to win, the feeling would be the same as winning the World Cup or the Champions Trophy,” said Ishant during a virtual press conference ahead of the third Test against England. (ANI)
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