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IPL is letting talented newcomers learn from veterans of the game

Players like Suryakumar Yadav, Ishaan Kishan, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya, who are part of Team India today, were the outcome of the IPL.

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When Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes were beating Indian spinners convincingly, it was being said that the Englishmen read Indian spinners well. But here I would like to give the example of Harbhajan Singh, who had taken more than 400 test wickets. No foreign player could read him properly because there was so much variety in Bhajji’s bowling. It was not possible for anyone to read him.

The same Harbhajan Singh was also the star of IPL and won the hearts of all by bowling brilliantly on behalf of Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. Every spinner today should learn from Harbhajan Singh. Today’s generation will have to develop such skills. In the last ODI series, Bairstow and Ben Stokes were seen hitting big shots against Krunal Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav. While these two batsmen belong to a class of their own, it had been a learning experience for Krunal and Kuldeep.

I would like to give an example of a tri series from the days when Sri Lankan explosive batsman Sanath Jayasuriya was in full swing. In the opening overs of Srinath and Prasad, he scored a lot of runs. But after that, Harbhajan Singh was brought out to attack and it was a maiden over for Jayasuriya. The world-class batsman had high respect for the world-class bowler and played him with caution. This player from Jalandhar always came forward in such adverse conditions and getting him into international cricket was a big thing.

The IPL is actually a very big platform. In the days when I played with Team India, if IPL had existed, it would have helped to improve my game. The experience would have been very useful. Today, the situation is such that the world first sees the spectacular performance of someone in the IPL, which helps the player come into the national team. The selectors get a lot of talent from the IPL pool.

Players like Surya Kumar Yadav, Ishaan Kishan, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya, who are part of Team India today, were the outcome of the IPL. They performed consistently well in the IPL, which forced selectors to pick them to play for the national team. Moreover, on the IPL platform, one gets the chance to play with veterans like AB de Villiers and Kagiso Rabada.

It is expected that a lot of talent will come out of the IPL this time too. Players should always keep making improvements in their game so they can perform better.

The author has played 18 ODIs on behalf of Team India and is currently a cricket reviewer for India News.

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Thought I had won: Mary Kom on ‘unfair’ defeat at Olympics

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Six-time world champion Mary Kom was “shocked and upset” to learn about her Tokyo Olympics exit on Thursday. Mary Kom faced a shocking defeat—split decision—at the hands of Colombia’s Ingrit Valencia to bow out from the tournament. Valencia won bout 3-2.

However, Mary Kom thought she had won since the ace boxer had clinched two rounds after going down in the first essay. “I thought I have won but after some time I saw Kiren Rijiju’s tweet, I was shocked and upset at the same time (to know that I have lost the match),” Mary Kom told reporters two hours after the bout.

After Mary Kom’s defeat, Kiren Rijiju, the Union Minister of Law and Justice, said the boxer was a clear winner but judges had their “own calculations”.

“Dear Mary Kom, you lost in Tokyo Olympics by just one point but for me you are always a champion! You have achieved what no other female boxer in the world has ever achieved. You are a legend. India is proud of you BOXING & OLYMPICS will miss you @MangteC,” Rijiju tweeted.

Mary Kom slammed the International Olympic Committee’s Boxing Task Force for “poor judging” in her Flyweight (51kg) pre-quarterfinal at the Tokyo Games which she lost despite winning two of the three rounds. The Task Force is conducting the boxing competition at the Tokyo Olympics after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) was suspended by the IOC for alleged mismanagement and financial wrongdoing. “I don’t know and understand this decision, what’s wrong with the Task Force? What’s wrong with the IOC?” she asked in a telephonic interview to PTI after the 2-3 loss to Colombian Ingrit Valencia in the pre-quarters in Tokyo. “I was also a member of the Task Force. I was even giving them suggestions and supporting them in ensuring a clean competition. But what have they done with me?” she said.

“I was happy inside the ring, when I came out, I was happy because in my mind I knew I had won. When they took me for doping, I was still happy. Only when I saw the social media and my coach (Chhote Lal Yadav repeated it to me), it sunk in that I have lost,” she said. “I had beaten this girl twice in the past. I couldn’t believe that her hand was raised by the referee. I swear, it hadn’t struck me that I lost, I was so sure,” she added.

“The worst part is that there is no review or protest. Honestly I am sure the world must have seen, this is too much what they have done,” she said. “I should have got the second round unanimously, how was it 3-2? What happened was totally unpredictable,” she reasoned.

The IOC’s Boxing Task Force had promised a more transparent judging system after amateur boxing’s credibility took a hit during the 2016 Rio Olympics judging fiasco which led to suspension of 36 officials.

Mary Kom is part of the BTF’s 10-member athletes ambassadors group.

Valencia advanced to the quarter-finals of the showpiece event after defeating Mary Kom in the women’s flyweight (48-51kg) category event.

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Tokyo Olympics: World No. 1 Kento Momota knocked out

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Japan shuttler Kento Momota on Wednesday was knocked out of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics after the world number one failed to progress from Group A in the men’s singles event.

On Wednesday, Momota was defeated by South Korea’s Heo Kwang-hee. The South Korean defeated Momota 21-15, 21-19. Momota had won his first match of Group A against Timothy Lam 21-12, 21-19, but he failed to rise to the occasion in his next match, and as a result, he has bowed out of the ongoing Olympics in the men’s singles event.

Earlier on Wednesday, India shuttler Sai Praneeth lost his second Group D match against Mark Caljouw of the Netherlands in the Tokyo Olympics here at the Musashino Forest Plaza Court 3. Caljouw defeated Praneeth 21-14, 21-14 in straight games.

Star shuttler PV Sindhu defeated Hong Kong’s Ngan Yi Cheung in her second Group J match of the Tokyo Olympics here at the Musashino Forest Plaza Court 2 on Wednesday.

Sindhu defeated Ngan Yi Cheung in straight sets 21-9, 21-16 to cruise into the elimination round of women’s singles. Elsewhere on Tuesday, India men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy defeated Great Britain’s duo of Ben Lane and Sean Vendy in a crucial final Group A Play Stage game. The Indian duo defeated Lane and Vendy 21-17, 21-19 in their final group stage match.

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Rahi Sarnobat, Manu Bhaker to resume India’s challenge in shooting

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India’s Rahi Sarnobat and Manu Bhaker will resume India’s shooting challenge at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics, when they take the field in the first precision round of qualification in the Women’s 25M Pistol competition on Thursday at the Asaka Shooting range.

The precision round is slated to begin at 5.30 am IST. Rahi, fresh from an ISSF World Cup stage gold in Osijek, Croatia, leading up to the Games and Manu, will have to go through two days of qualification on Thursday and Friday before the top eight are separated after the second rapid-fire round. The 44-strong women’s Sport Pistol field on day six of the Olympic Shooting competition closely resembles the Air Pistol competition of day two and will have all the finalists of that event, barring the Chinese who have changed personnel.

India too has the experienced Rahi, also the reigning Asian Games champion, in place of Yashaswini Deswal who played the Air Pistol event, to accompany Manu.The 15-member squad has six starts to go and is still searching for its first shooting medal at the Games.

India archer Pravin Jadhav crashed out of the men’s individual event in Tokyo Olympics after losing to USA’s Brady Ellison at Yumenoshima Ranking Field on Wednesday. The 25-year-old suffered a 6-0 defeat in the Round of 16 match against Brady Ellison — also the current World Record holder.

World No.1 in men’s recurve category, Brady started the match with 9-10-9 in response to which Jadhav scored 9-8-10, which handed Ellison two easy points. In the second set, Ellison had a very bad start with an 8 but the Indian didn’t manage to benefit from that mistake of the American as he scored a poor 7 with the final arrow after he aimed 10 and 9 with the first two arrows.

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OLYMPICS: INDIA WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM LOSE TO GREAT BRITAIN 4-1

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The Indian women’s hockey team suffered a third successive defeat in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics as Great Britain won the encounter 4-1 here at the Oi Hockey Stadium — South Pitch on Wednesday.

Great Britain got off the blocks very quickly as Hannah Martin opened the scoring from the team’s first circle entry of the match inside just 75 seconds. The Indian team got better as the first quarter progressed to create few chances here and there, but GB’s defence assured their team went ahead without conceding a goal into the next fifteen minutes.

In the second quarter, Hannah Martin again prevailed for GB as she scored her second goal of the match. Indian goalkeeper saved the first shot but Martin converted on the second chance as the ball crept in between the feet of Savita.

India responded in quite a fashion after Sharmila Devi came up with a poacher’s finish from a PC. This was Sjoerd Marijne’s team first goal in Tokyo 2020 Olympics as the Indian No. 7 waited at the goal-mouth to guide the ball in following the flick by Gurjit Kaur.

The second half gave Indians no respite despite winning multiple PCs as GBR extended their lead by scoring on the rebound. The fourth quarter had the same story in store for the Women in Blue as the defending Olympic Champions hit the final nail by scoring their fourth goal of the match.

This is India’s third successive defeat after losing to Germany in their second match 0-2 on Monday.

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FORWARD LINE HAS TO DO BETTER AGAINST ARGENTINA IF INDIAN HOCKEY WANT TO DO WELL IN TOKYO

V BHASKARAN

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The Indian hockey team has played three matches so far in which they have lost the second match to Australia very badly and the results of the remaining two matches have undoubtedly gone in India’s favor but I am not completely satisfied with the way Indian players have performed. Especially the forward line has disappointed me a lot.

Looking at India’s forward line, it seems that they are not in the match. I have full faith in the abilities of my forward players. Lalit Upadhyay or Dilpreet all are very talented.  All of them have played good hockey recently but they are far from their best performance in the Olympics. Trapping near the forward line is not good. They need to do more than what they are doing. So far only 25 percent of them have come forward.

The need is to continuously do well. Our team has to play the open game. I only say one thing, make the most of the first quarter. Be aggressive in this quarter and score first, which pays a lot. Secondly, we are good during penalty corner, and we can take advantage of it. We don’t have to lose points after losing the match against Australia. Now there is a need to show all-round play. Goal chances have to be created. The way Simranjit Singh was playing, he made way for the goal.

Let’s assume that the defense line will make mistakes but the effort should be that mistakes are minimized. Also, lessons have to be learned from past mistakes. Argentina is the Olympic champion but we are no less than them in terms of capabilities. I am sure the forward line will definitely do better in this important match.

(The author is a member of the gold-winning team at the 1980 Moscow Olympics)

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DHANANJAYA, KARUNARATNE SHINE AS LANKA DEFEAT INDIA IN 2ND T20I

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Dhananjaya de Silva’s unbeaten knock of 40 runs followed by Chamika Karunaratne’s cameo of 12 runs helped Sri Lanka defeat India by four wickets in the second T20I of the three-match series here at the R Premadasa Stadium on Wednesday.

With this win, Sri Lanka has levelled the three-match series at 1-1. The final game will be played on Thursday. Chasing 133, Sri Lanka got off to a bad start as Avishka Fernando (11) was sent back to the pavilion by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the second over of the innings. Sadeera Samarawickrama scored 8 runs from 12 balls and his struggle finally ended in the 7th over as Varun Chakravarthy clean bowled him, reducing Sri Lanka to 39/2.

Skipper Dasun Shanaka (3) failed to leave a mark as he was stumped by Sanju Samson of the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav and Sri Lanka were reduced to 55/3, still needing 78 runs more for the win from 65 balls. The set batsman Minod Bhanuka (36) was also dismissed by Kuldeep and Sri Lanka was put on the back foot at 66/4.

Dhananjaya de Silva and Wanindu Hasaranga then joined hands together and they put on 28 runs in quick succession, but this partnership was cut short by Rahul Chahar as he dismissed Hasaranga (15) with Sri Lanka still 39 runs away from the target.

In the last three overs, Sri Lanka required 28 runs for the win, and de Silva along with Chamika Karunaratne ensured that the hosts get over the line.Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with a knock of 40 runs as India posted 132/5 in the allotted 20 overs. Sent into bat first, India got off to a steady start as openers Shikhar Dhawan and Ruturaj Gaikwad put on 45 runs inside the first six overs. The first-wicket stand of 49 runs finally came to an end on the final delivery of the seventh over as Gaikwad (21) was sent back to the pavilion by Dasun Shanaka.

Devdutt Padikkal then joined Dhawan in the middle and both batters found it tough to rotate the strike. However, in the 11th over, Padikkal broke the shackles as he dispatched Dhananjaya de Silva for a massive six. However, the 32-run stand between these two batters finally ended in the 13th over as Akila Dananjaya clean bowled Dhawan (40), reducing India to 81/2.

In trying to look for a big shot, Padikkal (29) also perished in the 16th over, having been clean bowled by Wanindu Hasaranga, reducing India to 99/3.Sanju Samson (7) also failed to leave a mark and India were struggling to post a respectable score on the board.

In the final overs, India struggled to register boundaries and were restricted to under the 150-run mark. For India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Navdeep Saini remained unbeaten on 13 and 1 respectively.

Brief Scores: India 132/5 (Shikhar Dhawan 40, Devdutt Padikkal 29, Akila Dananjaya 2-29); Sri Lanka 133/6 (Minod Bhanuka 36, Dhananjaya de Silva 40*, Kuldeep Yadav 2-30).

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