Ind vs Eng: Shastri, Kohli rally team around with their pep talk ahead of final day - The Daily Guardian
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Ind vs Eng: Shastri, Kohli rally team around with their pep talk ahead of final day

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 9 (ANI): Ahead of the start on day five of the ongoing first Test against England, skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri gave a pep talk on Tuesday to rally their team around for showing a “spirited brand of cricket.”
BCCI posted a video on their official Twitter handle on Tuesday in which Kohli and Shastri can be seen giving a pep talk to the entire squad.
“Final huddle talk,” BCCI wrote as the caption.
India will enter day five at the MA Chidambaram Stadium with their score being 39/1 and the hosts still need 381 runs for the win. Cheteshwar Pujara (12) and Shubman Gill (15) are still at the crease for India.
In the dying minutes on day four of the ongoing first, Jack Leach clean bowled Rohit Sharma and the hosts were given a major blow.
On day four, England didn’t declare even after having a lead of more than 400 runs and the visitors weren’t even looking to score runs at a quick pace before they folded up for 178.
Former Australia spinner Shane Warne was surprised with the visitors’ decision to not declare and was also fumed at England’s slow approach with the bat on day four of the first Test.
Earlier in the day, after being bowled out for 337, India gave the visitors a lead of 241 runs but England did not decide to enforce the follow on and the side sent out Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley to score runs at a brisk pace.
Ashwin picked six wickets, restricting England to a very low total in the second innings and with this, a target of 420 runs was set for the hosts. (ANI)

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New Zealand survive Stoinis-Daniel scare to secure thrilling win over Australia in 2nd T20I

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Dunedin [New Zealand], February 25 (ANI): Marcus Stoinis’ 78 off 37 balls and Daniel Sams’ 41 off 15 balls weren’t enough to help Australia secure a win as New Zealand emerged victorious in the second T20I by four runs on Thursday.
With this thrilling win, New Zealand has taken a 2-0 lead in the five-match T20I series. Martin Guptill returned to form with a sensational knock while James Neesham slammed 45 off 16 balls before Stoinis and Daniel almost got Australia over the line.
Neesham dismissed both Stoinis and Daniel in the final over to help New Zealand secure a win in the second T20I. For the Kiwis, Mitchell Santner picked four, Neesham struck two while Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi picked a wicket each.
Chasing a mammoth 220, Australia got off to a good start as the visitors smashed 33 runs from the first three overs. But Southee removed Matthew Wade in the fourth over to put a break on Australia’s chase.
But the visitors continued to bat freely and seven overs into the chase, Australia was 64/1 before Sodhi dismissed skipper Finch on the last ball of the eight over.
After the Finch’s dismissal, Australia kept losing wickets at regular intervals and was soon found reeling at 113/6 before Stoinis and Daniel came out firing on cylinders. The duo stitched a 92-run stand for the seventh wicket in just 37 balls but New Zealand held their nerve in the final over to prevail
Earlier put in to bat first, New Zealand got off to a bad start as Kane Richardson struck with his first ball to dismiss Tim Seifert in the fourth over.
However, Guptill was in altogether a different mood on Thursday as he raced off to 37 in 23 balls to announce his return to form in style. New Zealand scored 45 runs in the first six overs with Guptill alone accounting for 37 of those. Guptill continued his scintillating batting and notched up his half-century in just 27 balls. A few blistering shots and the right-handed batsman moved to 70 off 37 balls as New Zealand went past the 100-run mark in the 11 overs.
Meanwhile, skipper Kane Williamson played the role of a second fiddle but Gutpill’s flurry of boundaries brought up the 100-run partnership for New Zealand. Daniel Sams provided Australia the second breakthrough as Guptill fell three runs short of his century in the 15th over
In the next over, Adam Zampa dismissed Williamson but James Neesham smashed three sixes from his first four balls to steer New Zealand to a mammoth total despite wickets falling at the other end.
With Guptill’s 97 (50) and Neesham’s quickfire 45* (16), New Zealand ended the innings with 219 runs in the allotted 20 overs.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 219/7 (Martin Guptill 97, James Neesham 45*; Kane Richardson 3-43); Australia 215/8 (Marcus Stoinis 78, Daniel Sams 41; Mitchell Santner 4-31) (ANI)

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VAIBHAV ARORA MIGHT BE THE NEW PACER TO KEEP EYES ON

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NEW DELHI: Himachal Pradesh pacer Vaibhav Arora is on a high these days as he was not only picked by Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League auction, but also picked a hattrick against Maharashtra in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy.

But the 23-year-old is not ready to slow down. He wishes to keep the tempo going and script more match-winning performances going into the IPL. In fact, the pacer wishes to fine-tune his skills further in the IPL camp when he gets to share the training ground with stalwarts like Australia pace spearhead Pat Cummins and New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson. Not to forget skipper Eoin Morgan.

“He (Morgan) is a big player and I will now get to share the dressing room with him and also with Cummins and Ferguson. So I am very excited, as I will get to learn from those two bowlers. I will take tips from Cummins and Ferguson to improve my bowling further.

“I had in mind to ask the premier fast bowlers in the world that how do they train, what is their diet and how do they maintain their fitness to bowl consistently in Test cricket. And now I will get the chance to ask them how they manage to bowl 30, 40 overs in Test cricket and will surely take some tips,” he told ANI.

KKR bought Vaibhav for his base price of Rs 20 lakh, but the fast bowler had also caught the eyes of the selectors when he was with Punjab Kings.

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Mumbai City FC to plant five trees for every goal scored in ISL 7

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PANAJI: Mumbai City FC have launched a campaign with a simple message — ‘Thank You, Goa’ — to show their appreciation to the state and its people for their hospitality and their role in the successful running of the ongoing seventh season of the Indian Super League (ISL) amid health and safety restrictions.

As a part of the ‘Thank You Goa’ campaign, Mumbai City will undertake a tree plantation drive in Goa with the support of the Corporation of the City of Panaji and their Urban Forestry Programme. For the past six months, the Islanders’ contingent of players and staff have camped in a bio-secure bubble at the ITC Grand Goa, trained at the Nagoa Village Panchayat Ground, and have played their ‘home’ games of the ISL at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim.

Drawing inspiration from the ongoing season, the club will plant five trees for every goal the Islanders score in the seventh season of ISL, contributing to the biodiversity of the beautiful state of Goa.

With two games to go in the league stage of the ISL and a spot in the semi-finals confirmed for the Islanders, the club has scored 27 goals so far in the current season and have committed to plant 135 trees, with the hope of adding to that tally come the end of the season. The tree plantation drive will commence as soon as Mumbai City FC finish the current season of the ISL.

“The last six months have been a huge challenge and working in these unprecedented circumstances has not been easy for anyone. We want to thank all the fantastic individuals and organisations who, despite the current circumstances, have worked tirelessly to make us feel comfortable in our setting in Goa and who have put up a spectacular show for football fans tuning in from all over India and the world,” said Mumbai City FC head coach Sergio Lobera in an official statement.

The plantation drive will be executed in collaboration with The Corporation of the City of Panaji — the oldest civic institution in Asia. Owing to the work of the corporation, Panjim is hailed as one of the most charming and best-planned cities in the country, being the first city in India to be built on a planned grid system.

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Giroud’s goal gives Chelsea advantage against Atletico

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Chelsea beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie to take a big step towards the quarterfinals of the tournament.

What was Atletico’s home leg had to be played in Bucharest due to a ban on flights from Britain to Spain to try and stop the spread of coronavirus variants.

Although that is a clear disadvantage for the Spanish side, the result only serves to highlight a drop of form which has seen them lose two and draw one of their last three games in all competitions, Xinhua reported.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone fielded a side that on paper looked to be attacking minded, with Luis Suarez, Joao Felix, and Angel Correa in attack, and Koke and Marcos Llorente in midfield, the reality was something different as the La Liga leaders were content to sit deep and defend for much of the first half.

Chelsea was enjoying more of the ball and Timo Werner drew the first save of the game from a tight angle, although Jan Oblak responded well.

At the other end Thomas Lemar put over a pass that Suarez failed to reach, but Eduoard Mendy wasn’t forced into any serious action before the break.

The second half began with Mason Mount, who had previously seen a yellow card that will keep him out of the return leg, just fail to find Olivier Giroud with a pass across goal, while Hudson Odoi saw a deflected effort easily collected by Oblak.

Giroud scored the only goal of the game with a spectacular overhead kick in the 70th minute and although it was originally ruled out for offside, it was eventually given when the VAR showed the ball had come to him off Atletico defender Mario Hermoso.

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Cricketers sign for The Hundred, but no Indians

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Some more of the best players in world cricket have been signed up to play in The Hundred, the new fast-paced family-friendly 100-ball cricket competition to be launched this summer. However, no Indian cricketer appears in any of the eight franchise teams.

Thirty-five men’s players have been revealed after being chosen out of more than 500 overseas and English players vying for a place in the competition, the England Cricket Board announced on Tuesday. Alongside this, a further eight English and eight Australian star women’s players have also been announced.

Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, David Warner, Kagiso Rabada and Tom Abell are the top five men’s picks in The Hundred Draft to fill the remaining 35 spaces in the men’s squads.

Manchester Originals were the busiest team, signing 10 players. As well as Pooran and Rabada, they also drafted Harry Gurney, Jamie Overton and Shadab Khan amongst others.

Other England stars signed up include Ravi Bopara going to London Spirit, Olly Stone joining Northern Superchargers, and Saqib Mahmood being picked up by Oval Invincibles.

The eight teams have now filled all but one place in their men’s squads — they each have one Vitality Wildcard pick each to fill the final slot in June.

Men’s competition features three of world’s top five male international T20 batters and four of top five male bowlers.

Players are being signed on an individual basis by the eight teams in the women’s competition, with no equivalent draft event. Teams will continue to fill their squads over the coming months.

World’s top female T20 bowler Sophie Ecclestone and leading female T20 batter Beth Mooney are among the latest women’s star signings. Women’s competition currently features three of world’s top five female international T20 batters and bowlers.

The women’s competition will headline the start of The Hundred with Oval Invincibles taking on Manchester Originals in a standalone women’s match, live on Sky and BBC on July 21.

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INDIA NEED A LEG SPINNER WHO CAN BOWL LONGER SPELLS

Karsan Ghavri

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There was a time when there were not many fast bowlers around, however, I am happy that today’s generation is adapting to this difficult art. This is the reason why a lot of fast bowlers are getting ready today, which is a good sign for team India as such. Considering the abundance of pacers in the squad, India can also pay attention to our rotation policy and also pick bowlers for different formats.

Every fast bowler has a special ability. Some are experts in bowling long spells, while others bowl in short spells. In the latter case, bowlers should be picked for T20s and ODIs, and those who are exceptional, and are agile with good stamina and strength, should be picked for Test cricket. I am glad that BCCI is following this pattern today which is a good sign for the Indian cricket.

However, the biggest problem in Team India currently is the absence of a test leg-spinner. At one-time leg spinners used to dominate international cricket. From Bhagwat Chandrasekhar to Shane Warne and Anil Kumble, there have been excellent leg-spinners in world cricket who were not so easy to play. I think Yazuvendra Chahal, who has proved to be a very useful bowler for India in white-ball cricket, should also get an opportunity in Test cricket.

India must give such a skilled player a chance in the Test, which will bring a lot of variety to their attack. Leg spin bowling is great art. If Chahal gets a chance in the Test, he can bowl for longer spells. For a spinner, the ball has to spin in addition to a perfect length. The leg spinner can also be effective through their googly and flippers. There is a need to keep this art alive in India.

You must be wondering why I am raising the issue of leg spinner. Everyone knows that I was a fast bowler. However, I too have got a chance to try spin bowling in Test cricket. I was told that in 1976 against England, Bishan Singh Bedi was not on the field, then Sunil Gavaskar asked me to bowl spin and I got five wickets in that Test from spin bowling. Similarly, in a match during the Australian tour, Bishan Bedi again not being on the field, I was given the responsibility to bowl spin, and I took three wickets. Hence, as a spinner, I think that if India gets a good leg-spinner in the test, then myriad problems can be solved.

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