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Ind vs Eng: Both teams arrive in Ahmedabad for last two Tests

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 18 (ANI): Ahead of the upcoming day-night Test at Motera Stadium, both the Indian and England teams arrived here in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
The four-match series currently stands level at 1-1 and now both teams will lock horns in a pink-ball Test, beginning February 24 at the Motera Stadium.
The fourth Test of the series will also be played at the Motera Stadium.
Official Twitter handles of BCCI and England Cricket shared clips, in which both sides can be seen arriving in Ahmedabad.
The BCCI’s selection committee on Wednesday announced that pacer Umesh Yadav will join the team in Ahmedabad after his fitness Test for the third and fourth Test against England.
Umesh will replace Shardul Thakur in the squad, and the latter will be released for the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Apart from this, the selection committee has decided to not make any other change in the squad and every other player has been retained who was in the squad for the first two Tests.
India squad for last two Tests: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Md. Siraj.
India achieved an emphatic 317-run win against England in the second Test of the ongoing four-match series. As a result, the series stands levelled at 1-1 and Virat Kohli-led side has also reached the second spot in World Test Championship (WTC) standings.
Ravichandran Ashwin took an eight-wicket haul in the second Test, along with his 106-run knock in the second innings as India registered an emphatic 317-run win here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
In the second innings, Ashwin shared a crucial 96-run partnership with Kohli and this helped the hosts to post a healthy target in front of England.
India remains in contention to make the final of the ICC World Test Championship after completing an impressive victory over England in the second Test to draw level in the four-match series.
The victory in Chennai on Tuesday has lifted India to the second position with 69.7 percentage points on the points table but they cannot afford to lose another match as they need to win 2-1 or 3-1 to qualify for the final of the maiden edition of the championship.
England, who led the table after winning the opening Test, has slipped to the fourth spot with 67.0 percentage points. They can still qualify, but for that, they must win both remaining matches of the series against India. (ANI)

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Ashwin first Indian cricketer to pick 30 wickets in Test series twice

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 6 (ANI): Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Saturday became the first Indian cricketer to have picked 30 wickets or more in a Test series on two separate occasions.
In the ongoing four-match series against England, Ashwin’s wicket-tally stands at 30 while in 2015, the spinner had registered 31 wickets in the four-match series against South Africa.
Bishan Singh Bedi, Harbhajan Singh, BS Chandrasekhar, Kapil Dev are some of the former India stars to have taken more than 30 wickets in a single Test series.
In the third Test of the ongoing series against England, Ashwin picked the wicket of Jofra Archer in the second innings, and as a result, he registered 400 wickets in the longest format of the game.
Ashwin is just the fourth Indian to take more than 400 wickets in the longest format of the game.
With this performance in the third Test, Ashwin also rose to the number three spot in the ICC Test bowling rankings.
In the first innings of the ongoing fourth Test against England, Ashwin returned with three wickets as he dismissed Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes, and Jack Leach. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng, 4th Test: India inch closer to series win and WTC final spot

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 6 (ANI): India on Saturday afternoon inched a step closer to their World Test Championship (WTC) final berth as they had England on the mat in their second innings on Day Three of the fourth and final Test here at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
At Tea on Day Three, England’s second innings score read 91/6 and the visitors still trail by 69 runs. Dan Lawrence and Ben Foakes were unbeaten on 19 and 11 respectively at the end of the second session.
The turn of the event started in the post-lunch session as skipper Virat Kohli brought spinner – Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel — from both ends.
Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley continued the innings from 6/0. In the second over after the commencement of the session, Ashwin scalped the wicket of Crawley (5) who was caught at first slip by Ajinkya Rahane.
On the next ball, Ashwin picked Jonny Bairstow on a golden duck, piling further misery on the visitors.
Sibley added a brief 10-run stand for the fourth-wicket stand with skipper Joe Root before he was dismissed by Axar at his individual score of 3.
All-rounder Ben Stokes, who had scored a gritty half-century in the first innings, tried to revive England innings along with the skipper. However, Axar sent Stokes (2) back to the pavilion to scalp his second wicket of the innings. England was then left reeling at 30/4.
Ollie Pope (15), who walked in to bat at number six, played some shots to release pressure and added 35 runs alongside root. However, Pope’s stay was shortlived as he was out stumped by Axar in the 25th over of the innings.
In the next over, Root’s 30-run stint was also ended by Ashwin as he caught the visiting skipper in front of the wickets. At that point, India totally gained the upper hand over Englishmen and dominated the session.
Lawrence and Foakes then made sure that England did not lose any further wicket till the end of the session.
Earlier, resuming the third day on 294/7, India got bundled out for 365 in the morning session, taking a substantial 160-run lead. Rishabh Pant (101) and Washington Sundar (96 not out) were the top scorers while Rohit Sharma and Axar made useful contributions of 49 and 43 each.
Brief Scores: England 205 and 91/6 at Tea (Joe Root 30, Ravichandran Ashwin 3-35, Axar Patel 3-28); India 365 (Rishabh Pant 101, Washington Sundar 96*) (ANI)

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Need to have a little bit of patience and we will see Shafali very soon: Mithali

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Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 6 (ANI): India women’s ODI skipper Mithali Raj on Saturday said that she would like to give every youngster in the side a game in the upcoming five-match ODI series against South Africa for a perfect build-up ahead of the Women’s World Cup in 2022.
The women’s side would return to international cricket action after almost one year as they will lock horns in the five-match ODI series against South Africa, beginning Sunday. After the five ODIs come to an end, India and South Africa will play a three-match T20I series.
“Definitely, yes because it’s a five-match ODI series and we have some young players in the side. As the captain, I would like to give them opportunities to show their talent and yes we are looking at giving the youngsters an opportunity in this five-match ODI series,” said Mithali while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference on Saturday.
“This series is very important, we will see the composition of the team. Everybody is coming after a long gap, this series is very important as we have young players and it is the right platform to give them opportunities. It is also about ensuring that the core players get enough game time to develop that rhythm and take it from there,” she added.
When asked about Shafali Verma’s omission from the ODI squad, Mithali replied: “She definitely is in the scheme of things, she is on the radar. We need to have a little bit of patience and we will see her very soon.”
Talking about practice sessions ahead of this series, Mithali said: “As a professional athlete, it’s important that we keep ourselves fit and find ways to be in training. We have had four good days of training sessions, we also had a session on the central wicket. The girls have been training in their respective places before joining the team as the domestic season is underway.
“South Africa played against Pakistan before coming to India but then we are playing after a gap. Having said that, we have put in the efforts to train ourselves, we had a short camp and we have had four sessions here. It does not look like that we are rusty, girls are excited about putting in a good performance,” she added.
When asked about her preparation ahead of the South Africa series, Mithali said: “It’s been like how I prepare myself before any series, it is no different. In terms of game time, we have not played any matches as such but in terms of training and preparation, I have prepared myself how I do before any series. This is no different, a lot has gone into the methods as players are coming after a long gap. I am definitely looking forward to getting more runs, the last series against West Indies in 2019, I was in a rhythm and I would like to continue that.”
The Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) on Friday had announced that 10 per cent of the capacity of Ekana Stadium will be opened for spectators for the upcoming India women’s series against South Africa.
Commenting on fans coming in, Mithali said: “It is always good to play in the stadiums where there are people who turn up to watch the match. You have supporters supporting the team. I am happy to see that there is a price on the tickets for people to come over. This probably is one way where women’s cricket can sort of develop the revenue coming in. If we do well, the interest will develop, I am looking forward to people to turn up in the stadium and support the national women cricketers.”
India Women’s ODI squad: Mithali Raj (captain), Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Yastika Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), D. Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Swetha Verma (wicket-keeper), Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Poonam Yadav, C. Prathyusha, Monica Patel. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng, 4th Test: Jaffer takes dig at visitors, says pitch difficult to complain about

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Former India batsman Wasim Jaffer on Saturday took a jibe at England’s batting line-up and hoped that the visitors would get a decent score in the second innings because there is nothing to complain about the pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Many former England cricketers have been criticising the wickets being used in the four-match Test series as they are favouring more spin. Former England captain Michael Vaughan was 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 after the third game ended in two days.
Taking to Twitter, Jaffer wrote, “I hope England at least get a decent score in the second innings because this pitch is really difficult to complain about. #INDvsENG.”
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.
In the ongoing fourth Test between India and England, the hosts are in the driver’s seat as they dismantled the English top-order in the second essay after setting a 160-run lead.
After the completion of 19 overs, England was at 46/4 with Joe Root unbeaten on 16 and Ollie Pope not out on five runs. For India, spinners put the hosts on top as Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel scalped two wickets each.
Earlier, resuming the third day on 294/7, overnight batters Washington Sundar and Axar saw off the first hour with ease and the duo scored runs at a brisk pace, piling on further misery on the tired England bowlers. The first hour saw India scoring 50 runs as both Sundar and Axar looked to make the most of the bad balls from the visiting bowlers.
Just when the 100-run plus partnership looked to take India’s lead beyond England’s reach, Axar (43) was run out against the run of play. In the very next over, Ishant Sharma (0) was out leg before off the bowling of Ben Stokes and India’s score was reduced to 365/9 with Sundar still four runs away from his century.
While Sundar would have hoped for Siraj to hold one end up, Stokes cleaned him up in the same over as the all-rounder was left stranded — four short of a much-deserved maiden Test century. (ANI)

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Momentous occasion for all Indians to celebrate Gavaskar’s 50th anniversary of Test debut: Jay Shah

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah on Saturday said it is a momentous occasion for all Indians to celebrate former skipper Sunil Gavaskar’s 50th anniversary of Test debut.
BCCI felicitated Gavaskar for his contribution to Indian cricket as Jay honoured the batting great during the lunch break on day three of the ongoing fourth Test between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Taking to Twitter, Jay Shah wrote, “Join me in celebrating the 50th anniversary of Shri Sunil Gavaskar Ji’s Test debut for India. It is indeed a momentous occasion for all Indians and we are getting to celebrate it at the world’s largest cricket facility Narendra Modi Stadium @ICC @BCCI.”
The batting legend on Saturday made his social media debut as he finally created an account on Instagram.
Gavaskar’s son Rohan tweeted about his father making a debut on Instagram and he captioned the post as: “Another debut !! This time on Instagram.” In his first post on Instagram, Gavaskar shared an old photo and he captioned the post as: “Hello Instagram. I think I am ready for another debut.”
Gavaskar made his Test debut on March 6, 1971, against West Indies in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Over his career, Gavaskar went on to break many batting records and established himself as one of the finest batsmen to ever play the game.
India toured the West Indies during the 1970-71 cricket season for a five-Test series. The series turned out to be one of the most memorable ones as India won its first-ever Test series against the West Indies.
India, led by Ajit Wadekar, emerged victorious 1-0 in the five-match series and Gavaskar finished as the leading run-scorer, registering four centuries including one double ton. In his career, Gavaskar played 125 Tests and 108 ODIs for India. He was also a part of the 1983 World Cup win and 1985 World Championship of Cricket victory. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng, 4th Test: Dinesh Karthik applauds Sundar’s ‘fabulous knock’

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): India all-rounder Washington Sundar was left stranded four short of a well-deserved Test century as he ran out of batting partners. But wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik has praised the effort and called it a “fabulous knock” as it enabled the hosts to build a 160-run lead in the fourth Test against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Saturday.
With the India innings finishing on 365 — a lead of 160 — the visitors had to bat out three overs before the umpires called for Lunch. At the break, England’s score read 6/0 with openers Zak Crawley (5) and Dominic Sibley (1) at the crease.
Taking to Twitter, Karthik wrote, “Washing’TON’ Sundar. I was waiting to write this…but it’s okay, I’m sure I’ll use this very soon! Fabulous knock @Sundarwashi5.”
Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh also said Sundar “deserved” a hundred in the game.
“Feel sad for this young man @Sundarwashi5 deserved 100 #INDvsENG,” he tweeted.
Earlier, resuming the third day on 294/7, overnight batters Sundar and Axar Patel saw off the first hour with ease and the duo scored runs at a brisk pace, piling on further misery on the tired England bowlers. The first hour saw India scoring 50 runs as both Sundar and Axar looked to make the most of the bad balls from the visiting bowlers.
Just when the 100-run plus partnership looked to take India’s lead beyond England’s reach, Axar (43) was run out against the run of play. In the very next over, Ishant Sharma (0) was out leg before off the bowling of Ben Stokes and India’s score was reduced to 365/9 with Sundar still four runs away from his century.
While Sundar would have hoped for Siraj to hold one end up, Stokes cleaned him up in the same over as the all-rounder was left stranded — four short of a much-deserved maiden Test century. Even though Sundar missed out, the crowd was entertained to the core by Rishabh Pant on Friday as he hit a magnificent century. (ANI)

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