INDIA WOMEN’S TEAM HOPING TO MAKE THE MOST OF NATIONAL CAMP AHEAD OF AFC ASIAN CUP - The Daily Guardian
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INDIA WOMEN’S TEAM HOPING TO MAKE THE MOST OF NATIONAL CAMP AHEAD OF AFC ASIAN CUP

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The Indian women’s football team have gathered in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, for their preparatory camp leading to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup which is to be hosted in India from January 2022 onwards.At a time when the pandemic has crippled normal life and normalcy hasn’t yet been restored in all fields, the players are elated at being back at the national camp once again.

Indian Women’s Team captain Ashalata Devi said: “Keeping in mind the current pandemic situation in the world it’s not easy to set up such camps for any sporting events. We are extremely thankful that the Jharkhand government and AIFF have come together to arrange this camp for the team. We can only hope to move forward together in our preparation for the Asian Cup,” she mentioned.

The Indian women’s team had earlier travelled twice to international exposure tours in Turkey and Uzbekistan wherein they played the likes of Uzbekistan, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and other teams earlier thisyear.

The Indian women’s Team has a new head coach in the form of Thomas Dennerby. Dennerby has an experience of over 30 years in coaching several national squads with much success. The UEFA Pro diploma holder had guided Sweden’s women’s national team to a 3rd-place finish in the FIFA World Cup in 2011, and a quarter-final spot in the 2012 London Olympics.

He also served as the head coach of the Nigerian women’s national team wherein he coached the Super Falcons to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. He also helped the Nigerian women to win the AWCON Award 2018, and was awarded the 2018 Coach of the Year in Nigeria.“Being back in the camp feels absolutely great. Personally, I am even more elated as I am back after a long injury. But we are all aware of the massive task ahead of us, to get ready for the Asian Cup,” winger Sanju Yadav said.

“Everyone is motivated, and our new coach Thomas Dennerby has also been very helpful on and off the pitch. He has experience of coaching at the highest level, and we’re all looking forward to learning as much as we can from him.”

Midfielder Sangita Basfore feels the Indian’s women’s team is “one big family.”

“We are like one big family. We can now shift focus to preparing for the Asian Cup, and I can guarantee that everyone is highly motivated. We are all very thankful to the Jharkhand Government for hosting us in Jamshedpur,” said Sangita.

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REALLY WANTED TO PROVE MYSELF AT TOKYO OLYMPICS, SAYS DEFENDER VARUN KUMAR

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When Indian men’s hockey team drag-flicker and defender Varun Kumar didn’t make the final team of 16 members for the Tokyo Games, he was evidently disappointed. But when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) allowed hockey teams to expand their roster to 18 members with two P athletes, Varun’s name featured in the team.

Looking back, Varun says he feels very fortunate even though he was disappointed at first for not featuring in the 16-member squad. “When the squad for the Olympics was announced, my name was not part of the 16-member squad. I still remember that day very well and I was evidently disappointed,” recalled Varun in an official Hockey India release.

“But after a few days when IOC allowed hockey teams to expand to 18 players, Simranjeet and I were called up as P athletes. It came as a huge relief but somewhere at the back of my mind I was still upset about not making it to the final 16 and I really wanted to prove myself,” he added.

Varun further stated that the skipper Manpreet Singh having a one-on-one chat with him before the team left for Tokyo helped him. “It really helped that captain Manpreet had a long chat with me and pumped me up mentally. Manpreet has been a big influence in my career from a very young age as we played in the same academy and him talking to me made a lot of difference. I stopped beating myself up for not being good enough to make the 16-member squad. I started focusing on how I can make this opportunity count and deliver when the team needs me,” stated Varun.

What followed in Tokyo is now part of history as the Indian men’s hockey team went on to clinch the bronze medal. Varun played a key role in India’s 3-1 win against Argentina in the pool stage as he scored the first goal of the match. He was effective in the backline and impressed with his performance every time he was called up.

“It was indeed a fantastic experience in Tokyo. Winning the Bronze and standing on the podium along with my teammates is perhaps the best moment of my life. Now my priority will be to improve in every aspect. We have had a good break after the Olympics and we are all waiting to return to camp in October,” stated Varun.

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IPL 2021: ROHIT NEEDS EXTRA FEW DAYS, HE’LL BE FINE TO PLAY AGAINST KKR, SAYS JAYAWARDENE

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Rohit Sharma

After suffering a 20-run defeat against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene said regular skipper Rohit Sharma will be available for the next game. Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya had missed out on the match against CSK which was played in Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. “Rohit was batting and doing his running, after coming back from the UK, we probably felt he needed extra few days so he should be fine to play the next game. Hardik was training, had a niggle, so precaution and giving him extra days, not nothing serious,” said Jayawardene during a virtual post-match conference.

For CSK, Dwayne Bravo scalped three wickets and Deepak Chahar took two. For Mumbai Indians, Saurabh Tiwary was the highest scorer after playing a knock of 50 runs. With this win, Chennai Super Kings went to the top of the IPL table while Mumbai is now in danger of falling outside the top 4 if they get on a losing streak.

“Well, I think the pitch was not doing much, to be honest, in the second innings, the wicket was pretty good. The odd one sat up a little bit. I agree we probably gave a couple of soft dismissals, we probably needed someone to take responsibility and bat through the innings which we did not do. That was the difference with CSK with Ruturaj Gaikwad doing that for them,” said Jayawardene.

“Even though they lost wickets there was a set batsman who went till the end. We are disappointed with how we handled the situation,” he added.

Talking about Mumbai Indians’ batting, Jayawardene said: “Not really, I mean we struggled in Chennai in the first half as we did not get used to the conditions. Here also, you know, it was not the easiest wicket, but probably needed some application. I put it down to game awareness and taking responsibility. The application out there is something we need to work on.” For CSK, Gaikwad had played an unbeaten inning of 88 runs as the MS Dhoni-led outfit posted 156/6 in the allotted twenty overs after being 24/4 inside the powerplay. Mumbai Indians will next lock horns against Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday.

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OVER THE NEXT THREE YEARS, I WANT TO BE BEST FINISHER IN THE WORLD: MARCUS STOINIS

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DUBAI: Having opted out of Australia’s limited-overs tours of West Indies and Bangladesh, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis is set to return to the pitch when he plies his trade for Delhi Capitals in the second half of the 14th edition of the IPL in UAE.

While Stoinis is currently aiming to win the IPL with Delhi Capitals, the focus will shift to playing an important part in Australia’s attempt to win a maiden T20 World Cup after the league gets over. “The key for us is going to this tournament having each other’s back, looking to play like we’ve got nothing to lose because at the end of the day, we don’t have anything to lose,” he told ESPNcricinfo.

“I think if we play with that freedom and that excitement, we’re going to do something special. I think that’s the way we’ve got to attack that. There’s enough talent. There’s so many good players in our team that there’s no reason why we shouldn’t,” he said. “My next phase, the way I see it, over the next three years I want to be not only the best finisher in Australia, I want to be the best finisher in the world,” said Stoinis.

Commenting on his working relationship with DC coach Ricky Ponting, Stoinis said: “Ricky is a genius. And a lot of his genius isn’t always about the cricket. It’s about how he communicates with people. He understands me quite well. So, he knows how to push my buttons. He knows when to challenge me. He knows when to pump me up. When it comes to game time, we’ve got a good relationship in that I’m sitting in the dugout, I’m asking him what he’s thinking. I’m telling him what bowler I want to target, when to send me out, he’s telling me to sort of sit down and relax.”

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ONE OF MY TOP INNINGS, SAYS GAIKWAD ON HIS 88-RUN KNOCK AGAINST MUMBAI INDIANS

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Chennai Super Kings batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad rated his 88 run knock against Mumbai Indians on Sunday as one of his top innings. Gaikwad’s knock propelled the team in the yellow as they defeated the defending champions by 20 runs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Dubai International Stadium.

“Obviously one of my top innings till now. With the pressure of early wickets and with the seniors in the dressing room, I just had to grind and get the team to 130, 140 and then 150 was possible,” Gaikwad who was adjudged man of the match in the post-match presentation said.

“When Mahi bhai [brother] is around and with the CSK management, once they back you, you don’t have to think much. The SL tour and the preparation coming here did help too. Initially the ball was seaming and swinging so I had to take my chance against the spinners. Jaddu just came in and I had to take my chance and it came off well. Quinton was taking charge, and my drop at that stage could have been crucial, but luckily Deepak got him out soon after,” he added.

For CSK, Dwayne Bravo scalped three wickets and Deepak Chahar took two. For Mumbai Indians, Saurabh Tiwary was the highest scorer after playing a knock of 50 runs. With this win, Chennai Super Kings went to the top of the IPL table while Mumbai is now in danger of falling outside the top 4 if they get on a losing streak.

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‘AFTER RELINQUISHING CAPTAINCY IN T20, VIRAT WILL BE SEEN PLAYING IN A MORE RELAXED MANNER’

Rajkumar Sharma

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Virat Kohli has decided to step down from the captaincy after the T20 World Cup and will not be seen captaining RCB in the IPL after this season as well. I respect both his decisions. He had consulted me about it and I respected both his decisions and asked him to step down from the captaincy.

I think this is a good decision. He was feeling the workload on himself for some time. He wants to be relaxed at this time. It is necessary for any person to be in harmony with all these aspects. Rest I do not believe that his performance has declined. He has been playing big innings continuously in T20 and ODI.

He scored four half centuries each in T20 and ODI format recently. He is getting off to a good start in Tests as well. I am sure after playing a big innings you will see the old one Virat Kohli batting.

Reports of complain to the BCCI for his behaviour during the final of the World Test Championship are media blown-out reports. There is no truth in these news. I can confidently say that at this time the atmosphere of the dressing room is pleasant, it is healthy.

After relinquishing the captaincy in T20, he will be seen playing in more relaxed way, which will be very good for Indian cricket. Anyway, in T20 cricket, the new captain also needs the support of the senior player.

Virat can play an important role in that too. Of course, there is usually only one captain in ODIs and T20s around the world, but Virat will continue to captain in ODIs. I have no doubt about it. Team India also needs his captaincy in Test and ODI because he is the most successful captain of India till date.

I appeal to Virat Kohli fans and cricket lovers to keep faith in Virat Kohli the same way you have built up in past years. After these two big decisions, you will see this player playing big innings in Test cricket as well.

The writer is a coach of Virat Kohli and a Dronacharya Awardee.

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Dominant Kolkata register easy win over star-studded Bangalore

With this victory, KKR registered their third win of the season while RCB suffered their third defeat of IPL 2021.

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ABU DHABI: Andre Russell and Varun Chakaravarthy heroics with the ball was followed by masterful batting from Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) opening batsmen as they crushed Royal Challengers Banglore (RCB) by 9 wickets, chasing the target of 92 in just 10 overs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer played innings of 48 and 41 respectively for Knight Riders. Meanwhile, Yuzvendra Chahal got the only wicket for the RCB. With this victory, KKR has registered their third win of the season while RCB suffered their third defeat of IPL 2021. Chasing 92, KKR had the best possible start as both of their openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer displayed brilliant temperament and stunning flowing shots in the powerplay. They propelled KKR to 56 runs in the first six overs.

The lone wicket on the innings fell when Yuzvendra Chahal got the wicket of Gill, at the score of 82 in the 10th over. Gill returned to the pavilion after scoring 48 off 34 balls.

Soon Iyer finished the match in the next over with a four. The left-hander who was making his debut ended with 41 off just 27 balls. Earlier, Varun Chakaravarthy and Andre Russell starred with the bowl as Kolkata Knight Riders bowled out Royal Challengers Banglore to 92 in 19 overs. Chakaravarthy (3-13) and Russell (3-9) bamboozled the opposition with a perfect bowling display. For RCB, Devdutt Padikkal and KS Bharat played innings of 24 and 16 respectively.

Opting to bat first, RCB had a shaky start when their captain Virat Kohli (5) was trapped in front of wickets for LBW by Prasidh Krishna in the second over of the innings. The team in blue lost another wicket on the last ball of the Powerplay as Lockie Ferguson sent back Padikkal (22 off 20) after he edged to the keeper.

Srikar Bharat and Glen Maxwell tried to stabilise the ship of RCB for the few overs but Andre Russell soon struck and dismantled the opposition. The big West Indian first sent back Bharat to the pavilion in 9th over. And then after the timeout in the very same over he bowled AB de Villiers for a first-ball duck to turn the momentum of the match in KKR’s favour completely.

Varun Chakaravarthy then struck in the 12th over as he knocked Maxwell and then Hasaranga on two consecutive deliveries. Sachin Baby soon followed his teammates to the pavilion.

Kyle Jamieson was run out after Chakaravarthy got a feather of a finger on the ball. Harshal Patel (12) and Mohammed Siraj were last to fall as RCB innings was completed with one over still to go.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Banglore (Devdutt Padikkal 24, KS Bharat 16; Varun Chakaravarthy 3-13 Andre Russell 3-9) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (Shubman Gill 48, Venkatesh Iyer 41; Yuzvendra Chahal 1-23).

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