Ind vs ENG: After going 0-1 down, hosts look to avoid slip up in bid for WTC finals - The Daily Guardian
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Ind vs ENG: After going 0-1 down, hosts look to avoid slip up in bid for WTC finals

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New Delhi [India], February 12 (ANI): After facing a surprise 227-run defeat in the opening Test of the four-match series against England, the Indian team will come out with all guns blazing to display a fighting spirit in the second Test in front of the crowds after a more than 11-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After a historic series win in the Down Under, Virat Kohli and company will eye another comeback in the series after losing the series opener.
India’s batting line-up failed in the first Test and that was the biggest reason for the hosts’ defeat at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday. Openers Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma need to step-up for the side to provide a solid foundation while Chesteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli will look to convert their starts into big innings.
Swashbuckling batsman Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar have performed well in the first innings against the top-class English bowlers.

On the other hand, Indian bowlers will look to find a solution for English batters in the second Test. Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma will try to get back in rhythm while Ashwin will look to continue his dominance on the spinning track.
India may try Kuldeep Yadav or Axar Patel in the second game as Shahbaz Nadeem struggled with his bowling run-up and bowled nine no-balls in the first Test.
Patel has recovered completely and is now available for selection. The all-rounder had complained of pain in his left knee and was ruled out of the first Test.
England skipper Joe Root is in great form and Indian bowlers need to come up with a fresh approach against him in the series. Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope are also not easy wickets to send back to the pavilion.
For England, Ben Foakes is set to take over wicketkeeping duties from Jos Buttler who ended his India tour after the first Test.
With spinners Jack Leach and Dom Bess, visitors bowling packs a solid unit including pacers Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
Jofra Archer will miss the second Test after having an injection in his right elbow.
The series will decide which team will meet New Zealand in the World Test Championship final at Lord’s in June.
England jumped to first place with 70.2 winning 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 slipped to fourth in the WTC rankings after the loss. Australia are third. India needs to win by at least 2-1 margin to make it to the finals of WTC.
India squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-Captain), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur.
England squad: Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Ollie Pope.
The second Test of the series will be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai with 50 per cent spectators on Saturday. (ANI)

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International Women’s Day: Sporting codes unite ahead of landmark World Cups in New Zealand

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Dubai [UAE], March 8 (ANI): For a nation preparing to host three major world cups and a massive global conference on gender equality in sport, it’s hard to think of a more fitting image to mark UN International Women’s Day than Kendra Cocksedge, Katie Bowen and Sophie Devine standing shoulder to shoulder atop Eden Park’s towering stadium roof, peering down to the fabled playing surface and pondering what the sporting gods will grant them when their big days arrive.
The trio teamed up to help promote what promises to be a remarkable period for female athletes.
Bowen, a 59-cap Football Fern, Cocksedge, the Black Ferns vice-captain, and Devine, the power-hitting skipper of the White Ferns teamed up for a media event in Auckland to help promote what promises to be a remarkable period for female athletes.
Along with the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup (March-April 2022), Fifa Women’s World Cup (July-August 2023), and Rugby World Cup 2021, New Zealand will also welcome the world’s largest gathering of experts on gender equality in sport and physical activity to the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport in May 2022.
Bowen, who attended the event before heading to the United States to link with her club Kansas City ahead of the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season in the United States, said: “It’s going to be massive for the nation. I think that it’s going to really help the development of the youth, and we hope to inspire not only young females but also young boys.”
Bowen’s Football Ferns will be out to make history in 2023 when the eyes of the world will be on New Zealand and co-hosts Australia as they stage the 32-nation global sporting spectacular.

New Zealand women’s cricket team captain Sophie Devine has been in the thick of the sporting action in recent weeks after losing the ODI and T20I series against England at home.
Devine, who conquered her fear of heights to join Bowen and Cocksedge at the top of Eden Park, said: “It’s unbelievable to be a female athlete at this time. To have three women’s world cups here in New Zealand over the next three years is just awesome so please get along and support these fantastic athletes.”
White Ferns will next take on Australia in a T20I series beginning March 28. Both England and Australia will return to New Zealand shores in 2022, having already booked their spots at the eight-nation Cricket World Cup.
It was announced last week that Rugby World Cup 2021 would likely be postponed to the end of 2022, and while the delay was disappointing for Black Ferns veteran Cocksedge, the anticipation still remains.

“I’m still highly motivated that there is a World Cup on home turf and at the end of the day borders will hopefully be open and we will be able to get lots of support from family and friends and people outside of the country as well,” she said.
May 2022 will also see around 1000 international participants travel to New Zealand to attend the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport.
The event is the largest gathering of experts in gender equality in sport and physical activity in the world. It has been held every four years since 1994. For the first time in its 25-year history, it will be staged as both a physical event LIVE in Auckland and online as a digital event in parallel.
Rachel Froggatt, CEO of Women in Sport Aotearoa — host to the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport — said: “As a nation, we are about to witness a period of extraordinary social change for women and girls. The world’s best female athletes and the world’s best strategic thinkers in sport and physical activity are getting ready to travel to Aotearoa, to showcase their skills and talent across four major events. Together, these events will forever transform the visibility of women’s sport, but also significantly increase the value of sport and physical activity for women and girls at all levels of the system.” (ANI)

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Djokovic breaks Federer’s record of holding number one ranking for most weeks

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London [UK], March 8 (ANI): Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has broken Roger Federer’s record of being at the top of the ATP Rankings for the maximum number of weeks.
With the start of this week, Djokovic has extended his stay at the top spot for 311 weeks and as a result, the record of Federer has been broken.
“The record is broken! @DjokerNole now holds the record for most weeks at No. 1 in the @fedex ATP Rankings,” the official handle of ATP Tour tweeted.
Federer had held on to the record for being at the number one spot for most weeks as he stayed at the pole position for a total of 310 weeks.
The 33-year-old Djokovic had risen to the top of the ATP Rankings for the first time in July 2011.
Djokovic had ended 2020 at the number one spot in the rankings and this was the sixth time that the Serbian finished the year at the pole position.
Earlier this year, Djokovic had won the Australian Open for the ninth time.
On February 21, Djokovic defeated Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in the finals of the Australian Open 2021 at the Rod Laver Arena to clinch his 9th Australian title.
This was also the 18th Grand Slam win for the Serbian player. (ANI)

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Meghan Markle teaches meaning of being noble to me every day: Serena Williams

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Washington [US], March 8 (ANI): As Meghan Markle revealed that members of the British royal family expressed concern to her husband Prince Harry about the potential skin colour of the couple’s first child, American tennis star Serena Williams on Monday highlighted how Meghan continuously lives her life with empathy and compassion.
“Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life — and leads by example — with empathy and compassion. She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble. Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she’s experienced. I know firsthand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color to minimize us, to break us down, and demonize us. We must recognize our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism,” Serena said in a Twitter post on Monday.
“The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating, and all too often lethal. I want Meghan’s daughter, my daughter, and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect. Keep in your memory the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law,” she added.
On Sunday, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle revealed that members of the British royal family expressed concern to her husband Prince Harry about the potential skin colour of the couple’s first child.
As per People magazine, Meghan said that her son Archie was denied a royal title and royal protection and that there were “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he is born.” In her sit-down interview with Oprah, which aired on Sunday, Meghan said the palace decreed that Archie would not have any title, a move she says was “different from the protocol.”
“They didn’t want him to be a prince . . . which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security,” the Duchess of Sussex told Oprah.
She added, “we have in tandem the conversation of, ‘He won’t be given security. He’s not going to be given a title.’ And also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
An astonished Oprah asked Meghan who made that comment, with the ‘Suits’ actor declining to answer, saying the revelation would be too damaging.
Regarding the conversations, which Meghan was not part of, Oprah asked, “Because they were concerned that if he were too brown, that that would be a problem? Are you saying that?”
Meghan responded, “I wasn’t able to follow up with why, but that — if that’s the assumption you’re making, I think that feels like a pretty safe one, which was really hard to understand, right?”
Later in the interview, Oprah pressed Harry on the issue, asking him who was behind the comment. “That conversation I’m never going to share. It was awkward. I was a bit shocked,” he said.
When Harry and Meghan were married in May 2018, Queen Elizabeth gave them the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Archie was entitled to the “courtesy title,” Earl of Dumbarton. However, the couple announced shortly after his birth that they had not given him a courtesy title and he would be known as Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Under current guidelines, great-grandchildren of the monarch are not princes or princesses, except for children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, which is why Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children are Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
Meghan and Harry’s CBS special with Oprah marked the couple’s first joint interview since their royal exit, which was recently made permanent. In the interview, the duo discussed the reasons behind their decision to step back from their royal duties, which they had first announced in January 2020.
Meghan and Harry officially stepped down from their roles as senior royals last year. Since last summer, Meghan and Harry have been living with Archie in their new home in Southern California, not far from Oprah’s, near Santa Barbara.
Their interview with the former talk show queen and media mogul aired a month after Harry made a rare TV appearance on ‘The Late Late Show With James Corden’. Markle and Harry, who tied the knot in 2018, welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison, in May 2019. (ANI)

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Anirban Lahiri replaces Brooks Koepka at The Players Championship

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Florida [USA], March 8 (ANI): Eight-time PGA TOUR winner Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from the 2021 Players Championship due to injury.
“Brooks strained his right knee and he is scheduled to further consult with doctors this week to receive a more extensive evaluation and outlook,” said Blake Smith, Koepka’s manager.
“We will be able to provide additional updates and information as we learn more,” he added.
With Koepka’s withdrawal, the field now includes 48 of the top 50 in both the FedExCup standings and the Official World Golf Ranking. He will be replaced in the 154-player field by Anirban Lahiri of India.
Koepka, currently seventh in the FedExCup standings on the strength of a win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, last played at the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession where he finished in a tie for second.
The action from PGA Tour — The Players Championship — Day 1 will be live on Eurosport and Eurosport HD from 10:30 pm IST onwards on Thursday. (ANI)

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Vijay Hazare Trophy: Padikkal registers fourth consecutive century

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Karnataka opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal on Monday registered his fourth consecutive century in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Padikkal registered his latest century against Kerala in the ongoing quarter-final 2 of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here at the Palam A ground in the national capital.
Batting first against Kerala, Padikkal and Ravikumar Samarth put on an opening partnership of 249 runs inside 43 overs. Padikkal went on to score 101 runs and he was finally dismissed by NP Basil in the 43rd over.
Samarth, who is also the leader of Karnataka, went on to play a knock of 192 runs as Karnataka posted a total of 338/3 in the allotted fifty overs.
Before this, Padikkal had registered centuries against Odisha (152), Kerala (126*), and Railways (145*) in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy.
So far, Padikkal has managed to score 673 runs from six matches in the tournament.
Before Padikkal, Sri Lanka’s former skipper Kumar Sangakkara had scored four consecutive centuries in the 2015 World Cup while South Africa batsman Alviro Petersen had scored four consecutive tons in the 2015-16 Momentum One Day Cup.
After the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Padikkal will be seen in the upcoming Indian Premier League 2021 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). RCB will take on Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener on April 9 in Chennai. (ANI)

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International Women’s Day: Happy to see women athletes performing well at world events, says Rijiju

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): To commemorate International Women’s Day, the Fit India Movement in association with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) organised an All Women Fit India Walkathon at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium here.
The 2km event, was flagged off by the Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju who said that he was happy to see Indian women perform well in the international events.
“In the Olympics and other international events, our Indian women are performing exceeding well, we are giving an equal platform to all, but I am happier when our women athletes perform well and it’s our dream to see the daughters of the country perform well internationally,” the minister said.
Over 500 NYKS volunteers participated in the event in Delhi which also celebrated 125 years of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The walkathon was led by the Secretary of Youth Affairs Usha Sharma and Fit India Mission director Ekta Vishnoi. Similar walkathons are being organised in 1000 venues across India.(ANI)

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