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Ind vs Eng: Nehra wants visitors to pick Archer, Anderson and Broad for pink-ball Test

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 22 (ANI): Former India pacer Ashish Nehra on Monday made his pick for the England fast bowlers who he would like to see in the XI for the third Test at the Motera Stadium. He included Jofra Archer, James Anderson and Stuart Broad for the pink-ball Test, starting Wednesday.
The former speedster feels that this combination will benefit the Joe Root-led side even if they get a similar wicket like Chennai. Archer and Anderson both missed the second Test in Chennai after featuring in the first Test. Broad, who missed the first Test, played in the second game but went wicketless in the match.
Speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Nehra said, “When we talk about pacers, England doesn’t have any shortage of pacers; Joe Root will have to charge them on the ground. For example, in the second Test in Chennai, experienced bowler Stuart Broad wasn’t seen in his best form, he didn’t even play the first Test match. In the second innings, his form was back but he got the ball very late in the game.
“Jofra Archer is very talented; I believe among all the young talented bowlers we have seen in the past 2-3 years — Jofra Archer is number one. In the form Jofra Archer is in, especially if he’s in form and fit, it will benefit the England team.
“About Jamie Anderson, I don’t need to say much about his talent. Joe Root will be in a fix as to which three bowlers he should go ahead with or should he pick two bowlers, he will also have to analyse the pitch. Even if India sees a similar wicket like Chennai, England still has a strong line-up the way Stuart Broad bowls leg-cutters and bowls wicket to wicket; Jofra Archer bowls pace and bounce, Jimmy Anderson has experience with his swing and reverse swing. England has everything in their armoury,” he added.
The four-match series between India and England currently stands level at 1-1 and now both teams will lock horns in a pink-ball Test, beginning Wednesday at the Motera Stadium. If India win the ongoing series by at least a margin of 2-1, then the side will qualify for the finals of the World Test Championship. (ANI)

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Boxam International: Pooja Rani defeats world champion as nine Indian boxers storm into finals

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Asian Championship gold medallist Pooja Rani (75kg) defeated World Champion Atheyna Bylon of Panama in the semi-final bout as 9 Indian Boxers stormed into the final of 35th Boxam International Boxing tournament in Castellon, Spain on Friday.

Pooja dominated her opponent from the beginning and looked unfazed throughout and assured a unanimous win. She will now square off against Melissa Graham of USA in the final. Other women boxers joining Pooja in the final are debutant Jasmine (57kg) and Simranjit (60kg).

Young Jasmine, who is playing her first senior international tournament showed great composure and played from distance to ensure a comfortable 4-1 win over Italy’s Sirine Charaabi. She will be up against European Champion Irma Testa in the gold medal bout.

World Championship Bronze medallist Simranjit was up against veteran Puerto Rican Boxer Kiria Tapia and in a close encounter which saw both the boxers trade a series of punches, some intelligent ring craft by the Indian ensured a close 3-2 win over her senior opponent. Simran will take on World Championship Bronze medallist Rashida Ellis in the final bout.

However, it was a flawless day for the Indian male boxers as all 6 of them marched into the finals.
CWG bronze medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin (57kg) continued his fine run and displayed technical superiority over Panama’s Orlando Martinez to win 4-1. He will be facing Puerto Rico’s Paul Rivera in the final.

In the light welter-weight category, World Championship bronze medallist Manish Kaushik (6kg) found the going tough in the first round against France’s Lounes Hamraoui but made a strong comeback in the last two rounds to notch up a close but strong 3-2 win. Kaushik will be fighting for the yellow metal against Denmark’s Nikolai Terteryan.
Vikas Krishan (69 kg) who defeated Olympic bronze medallist Vicenzo Mangiacapre in the quarter-finals, continued his dominance and defeated two time World bronze medallist Ablaikhan Zhussupov in a busy bout which saw both the boxers playing an attacking game. However, Vikas ended on the winning side with a split 3:2 verdict in his favour. He will face local boy Youba Sissokho in the final.
Other Indian male boxers to shine in the semi-finals were Ashish Kumar (75kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg) and Satish Kumar (91+kg) as they outclassed their respective opponents and sailed into the final comfortably.

Earlier, six-time World Champion Mary Kom (51kg) went down against USA’s Virginia Fuchs. With 10 medals already confirmed, 9 Indian boxers — 6 men and 3 women — will be in action as they look to win the gold medal later on Saturday. (ANI)

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BCCI chief Ganguly congratulates Gavaskar and team of 1971 for contribution to Indian cricket

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): As former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar celebrates the 50th anniversary of his Test debut, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly on Saturday said this is the time to thank the team of 1971 for their contribution to the game in the country.
BCCI felicitated Gavaskar for his contribution to Indian cricket as Secretary Jay Shah 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, Ganguly wrote, “This day marks the 50th Anniv of Mr. Gavaskar in international cricket and the team of 1971.. It is time today to once again congratulate them for what they have for Indian cricket. The game is as strong as it is today because they made a start then against all odds. @BCCI.”
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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IPL 2021 to start on April 9, final on May 30 subject to GC approval

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): The 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is likely to be played from April 9 to May 30 subject to the approval of the Governing Council (GC). In another development, while the date of the all-important GC meeting to decide on the venues for the 14th edition of the league is yet to be finalised, it is most likely to be held next week.
Speaking to ANI, a GC member on conditions of anonymity said while the final approval will be given in the GC meeting, the league is expected to start on April 9 and a call on the venues will be taken next week.
“We haven’t yet decided on the day of the GC to decide on the venues, but the meeting will take place next week. As per the proposal, the IPL will get underway from April 9 and the final will be played on May 30,” the GC member said.
Progressing from the initial idea of hosting the 2021 edition of the IPL in one city, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is exploring the option of playing the league across four to five cities. While the logistical part will need further discussion, the idea has been floated and is being discussed by the senior officials of the board.
A BCCI official in the know of developments said the idea has indeed been discussed and while it is still early days, the 14th edition of the league could well be played in more than one city if things go as per plan and the GC gives an approval.
“We are exploring the possibility of conducting the IPL at more venues than originally planned. The intent is to take it to more fans as the situation is moving towards normalcy. The feasibility of the bio-secure bubble and logistics will of course be crucial to determine the venues finally. It is a fluid situation and the health of the participants is our primary concern,” the official had said.
Some of the cities that have been discussed are Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad.
While the tournament is still some time away, franchises too are open to the idea of having the league in more than one city as that will help to stay flexible with an eye on the COVID-19 situation.
While the BCCI is keen to take the most successful domestic league to as many fans as possible, the board is also clear that the bio-bubble restrictions will be made keeping the safety of the players in mind as was the case when the tournament was moved to UAE in 2020. (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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