Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 4 (ANI): England Test skipper Joe Root on Thursday said that the side is not looking to single out spinners for taking the bulk of wickets against India, rather it is about working together as a bowling group.
India and England are set to lock horns in four Tests, three ODIs, and five T20Is. The first Test begins February 5 and as Root steps on the field, he will play his 100th Test match for the Three Lions.
“I think it is fantastic that all three spinners (Moeen Ali, Dom Bess, and Jack Leach) are fit and available for selection, as a whole bowling group, it would be important that we work together, not single out spinners and separate the seamers. Collectively, it would be important that we all play our part, actually, we look at things in partnerships, we look at how as a bowling group, we are going to take 20 wickets in these conditions,” said Root while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
“We are not putting pressure on individuals to try and win games on their own, it will be the same mentality throughout this series and individually, it would be about doing your job to the best of your ability if you get the chance to play,” he added.
Talking about his admiration for Cheteshwar Pujara, Root said: “I think he is a fantastic player, I had the pleasure of playing a couple of games with him for Yorkshire. To learn from him and speak about batting, was really interesting. Playing against him and being on the wrong end of him scoring some runs, you learn from those kinds of innings. You have seen his importance and what he adds to the Indian team, he is going to be a huge wicket for us, no doubt.”
“There would be times when we would be required to stay patient, and we need to be mentally strong as he is at the crease, we know he is a fantastic player. He has a fantastic record at home, in particular, it is going to be a great challenge to come up against him,” added Root.
England skipper also said that playing against India in India would be a great challenge for this current side, but he also added that everyone is pretty upbeat about the upcoming series after winning the two Tests against Sri Lanka in January this year.
“We are getting a huge amount of confidence after winning the two Tests against Sri Lanka, we are realistic about where we are as a team. We know this is going to be a huge challenge for us, we are looking forward to it. It is about concentrating on the right things which we think would be the best for us, this is a great opportunity for this group, we are looking forward to the next four Tests,” said Root.
Talking about his battle with Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson among the “Big Four”, Root said: “Firstly, I look at these three guys and I try to learn as much as I can. They are three of the leading players in the world, it would be silly not to watch how they go about things. We all play the game differently, that’s the beauty of this game, there is no one way of getting things right, in terms of those individual battles, for me, it is not the most important thing.”
“For us to win this series against India, it is going to take our entire squad coming in together and producing something special together. It would be about managing pressure for long periods of time,” he added.
England’s touring contingent arrived in Chennai on January 27 and all the members were in quarantine for six days before they finally began their training. Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Rory Burns arrived earlier as the trio did not play the Test series against Sri Lanka. (ANI)
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SEHWAG REVEALS HOW DRAVID LOST HIS COOL WITH DHONI
Rahul Dravid’s Cred advertisement has made rounds on the social media as the former batsman is seen in the angry avatar. Dravid, in the advert, was seen in a completely different demeanor— Indranagar Ka Goonda— losing his cool and shouting at the top of his voice while being stuck at a traffic signal in Bengaluru.
In the advertisement that has gone viral, the former India batsman was seen breaking rear-view mirrors of a nearby car and even throwing a coffee cup at the windowpane of a car driven by an elderly person.
While Rahul Dravid’s fuming avatar was something that the world hadn’t seen, his former teammate Virender Sehwag has a different story to tell.
Revealing an ODI game in which MS Dhoni was batting with the legendary batsman from Bengaluru, Sehwag said that Dravid lost his cool with the wicketkeeper, who was then still in the budding stages of his career.
“I have seen Rahul Dravid get angry. When we were in Pakistan and MS Dhoni had been a newcomer, he played a shot and got caught at point. Dravid was very angry with MS Dhoni,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.
“’That’s the way you play? You should finish the game.’ I was myself taken aback by the storm of English from Dravid, I didn’t understand half of it.”
Sehwag added that MSD was actually wary of another angry outburst from Rahul Dravid, saying the power-hitting batsman abstained from hitting biggies in the following match. When Sehwag asked Dhoni why, MSD had told him about his cautious approach.
“But when MS Dhoni next came in to bat, I could see he was not hitting shots much. I went and asked him what was wrong. He said he did not want to be scolded by Dravid again. ‘I will finish quietly and go back,’ Dhoni said,” Sehwag added.
Myriad cricketers and fans have reacted to Rahul Dravid’s viral advertisement video. India skipper Virat Kohli took to social media and expressed surprise at Rahul Dravid’s surprising outburst.
Dravid’s former India and Karnataka teammate Dodda Ganesh also had an fascinating memory to share. The former India pacer shared a rare clip from a domestic game in which Dravid was spotted being animated in the dressing room.
Rohit’s Mumbai eyeing to defeat buoyant KKR
Despite losing their first match in the IPL 2021 to Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians face a problem of plenty.
Their regular opener Quinton de Kock, who had to sit out of the tournament opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as he was serving his quarantine on arrival from South Africa, was back at training on Sunday and will feature in the second match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Tuesday.
It means that Chris Lynn, who was MI’s top-scorer in the loss against RCB on April 9, may have to warm the bench as the Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman will likely face the new ball with skipper Rohit Sharma.
“Quinton de Kock is out of his quarantine. He did a practice session yesterday (on Sunday) with the team looking forward to the season. Yes, he will be available for tomorrow’s game,” said MI director of cricketing operations, Zaheer Khan.
“It is a good headache to have. To be lucky and be fortunate to have such a squad where people are waiting for opportunities and pushing each other,” Zaheer added.
MI’s power-packed middle and lower batting failed against some inspired and intelligent bowling from Harshal Patel. But their power-hitting unit comprising the Pandya brothers and Kieron Pollard among others batting are too good to fail as a whole twice in a row.
Containing them will be a big challenge for Kolkata Knight Riders who on Sunday scored a close but impressive win over SunRisers Hyderabad.
With their spin bowlers, who they relied on last season, not proving effective in Sunday’s game, MI’s batting could worry Eoin Morgan’s side.
Pat Cummins, who came in as second change, will again hold key for the KKR bowling unit.
An interesting contest will be between Nitish Rana, who top-scored for KKR with 80 (off 56 balls) against SunRisers’ strong bowling unit, and Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult.
While Boult is accurate, Bumrah’s pace and bounce can be hot to handle.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
• Many power-hitters in the side: Russell, Morgan, DK
• Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathy in good form
• Too much dependency on Foreign players
• Fitness issue with many players
• Strong batting order
• Balanced attack of Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah
• Mentally a very strong team
• Limited options in the spin bowling department
PSG HAS PROBLEMS AT THE BACK, SAYS BAYERN GOALKEEPER NEUER
Ahead of the second leg quarter-final clash against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said that side can bounce back as the French side has “problems at the back”.
Bayern suffered their first European defeat under Hansi Flick last week as PSG ran out 3-2 winners at Allianz Arena to take control of the tie. The reigning champions will now have to win by two clear goals or while scoring more than three away goals at Parc des Princes in order to reach the semi-finals.
“We need to stay calm in our heads, but have fire in our heart. We want to approach the game the right way, with motivation, a good attitude of course, and the stability you need against such quick players,” Neuer told the Bundesliga’s official website.
“We’ll need to keep our cool, play attacking football and put them under pressure. They have problems at the back. If we create as many chances as we did in Munich, then we can do it,” he added.
Bayern will play against PSG in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.
Samson’s blitzkrieg goes in vain as Punjab Kings clinch the cliffhanger
K.L. Rahul’s knock, aided by Deepak Hooda’s belligerent hitting, helped Punjab Kings post 221 in the allotted 20 overs. In response, Rajasthan Royals fell just five runs short of the target.
Sanju Samson’s fighting hundred went in vain as Arshdeep Singh held his nerves in the final over to help Punjab Kings register a thrilling win over Rajasthan Royals here at the Wankhede on Monday.
Punjab Kings squad celebrating a dismissal.Sanju Samson, the losing captain, of Rajasthan Royals, was given man of the match for scoring 119 runs off 63 balls.
KL Rahul’s calm and composed knock, aided by Deepak Hooda’s belligerent hitting, helped Punjab Kings post 221 in the allotted 20 overs. In response, Rajasthan Royals fell just five runs short of the target to clinch the game. With Ben Stokes back in the hut, Jos Buttler and Samson had revived Rajasthan Royals’ innings before the English batsman lost the plot and got out in the eighth over.
However, Samson and Riyan Parag didn’t give up and kept fighting as the duo smashed 13 and 20 runs in the 15th and 16th over. Samson took on Richardson and whacked him for 19 runs in the 18th over as the equation came down to 21 off two overs.
Samson, who smashed 119 off 63 balls, kept fighting till the end but wasn’t able to get the job done for the Royals as Punjab Kings clinched a thriller on the last ball. The wicket-keeper batsman had also refused a run to remain at a strike when Rajasthan Royals needed 5 off 2 balls.
Chasing a mammoth 222, Rajasthan Royals suffered an early jolt as they lost star all-rounder Ben Stokes in the first over. Manan Vohra tried to revive the innings with a six and a four but eventually got out in an attempt to slog every ball.
However, Jos Buttler was in some other mood as the wicket-keeper started firing right from the word go. The English batsman creamed four consecutive fours in Australian pacer Riley Meredith’s first over in the IPL.
Despite a few initial blips, Rajasthan Royals went past 50 in quick time. With runs flowing from both ends, the Sanju Samson-led side scored 59 runs after the completion of powerplay.
But Jhye Richardson’s slower yorker did the trick for the Punjab Kings as Buttler was cleaned up in the eighth over to reduced Rajasthan Royals to 70/3. With the ever-mounting required rate, Samson decided to switch gears, but finally team fell five runs short and succumbed to the battle.
Brief Scores: Punjab Kings 221/6 (Rahul 91, Hooda 64, Sakariya 3-31); Rajasthan Royals 217/7 (Samson 119, Riyan Parag 25; Arshdeep Singh 3-35 )
Very unhappy about referee’s two decisions: Barca coach Koeman
Real Madrid held on to earn a narrow 2-1 El Clasico win over Barcelona on Sunday and go top of the La Liga charts on Saturday. Karim Benzema broke the deadlock in the 13th minute with his ninth goal in seven league games, finishing Lucas Vazquez’s cross with a back heel nudge.
Madrid doubled the lead before the half-hour mark when Toni Kroos’ freekick deflected against Sergino Dest’s back and flew past Jordi Alba on the line, reports DPA.
Barcelona fought back in the second half in torrential rain, with Oscar Mingueza pulling one back from close range. Substitute Ilaix Moriba almost equalised in stoppage time but hit the crossbar.
Atletico Madrid travel to face Real Betis later on Sunday and could go back top with a point. They are currently level with Real on 66, while Barcelona are third on 65.
Barcelona complained of two penalty decisions they were not given, with Ferland Mendy clashing with Ousmane Dembele and later Martin Braithwaite in the area.
“I think everyone saw the game, if you’re a Barcelona fan you’re furious, very unhappy about the two refereeing decisions,” said an angry Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman.
“In the first half we were not good in attack or defence, in the second we improved. It’s a very clear penalty, once more we have to shut up and accept it.”
The Barcelona coach later walked out of a pitch-side interview after a reporter did not answer his question about whether his team should have been given a penalty.
Neither incident was clear cut, and Madrid could have put the game to bed in the first half when Fede Valverde hit the post with the score already at 2-0.
“I’m happy for (the players), we made a lot of subs today, we suffered but nothing changed,” said Real manager Zidane. “They are all committed, and they want to play and that’s the good thing. We have to enjoy today and the other day,” he said, referring to the team’s defeat of Liverpool in the Champions League.
PSL 6 TO RESUME ON 1 JUNE, FINAL ON 20 JUNE
The Board of Governors (BoG) of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) met through a virtual conference call and the board received a presentation and an update on the report of the two-person fact-finding panel that was set-up by the PCB chairman to review the bio-security protocols, bylaws, and arrangements for the Pakistan Super League.
The presentation was given in order to help them make recommendations on how to better ensure the implementation of a bio-secure environment for future events. The BoG discussed and debated the panel’s findings in detail. They expressed their disappointment at the failures that were highlighted in the report and advised remedial actions needed to be taken. The BoG also endorsed all recommendations of the fact-finding panel, including robust and stringent implementation of the protocols, as well as maintaining a zero-tolerance approach towards all those who breach the Covid-19 SOPs, which are put in place for safeguarding the health and safety of all participants.
The BoG was informed that as part of the strategy to ensure the PSL 6 resumed and completed in a safe and secure environment, the PCB was in the final stages of appointing a globally recognised safety management company that specialises in providing Covid-safe technology solutions, bio-secure monitoring & management, as well as response and reaction to positive tests.
The members were informed that a mandatory seven-day quarantine period for all participants will commence from May 22 in one hotel and following three days of training sessions, PSL matches will resume on June 1 with the final scheduled for June 20.
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