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Ishant looking forward to seeing Bumrah lead the way and groom new talent

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 22 (ANI): India pacer Ishant Sharma on Monday said that once he hangs his boots in the longest format, it would be important for Jasprit Bumrah to take it upon himself to groom the youngsters in the side.
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. This Test will also be Ishant’s 100th in the longest format of the game.
“I would not like to name one. If someone plays for India, it means he is talented and he has performed in domestic cricket and IPL. After me, if I think there can be one to play a lot of Tests for India, then it has to be Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah has to lead the way for the youngsters, it would be important how he grooms the new talent. Mohammed Siraj has good control and Navdeep Saini has pace. Everyone is different, you cannot pinpoint one regarding who will play more Test matches,” said Ishant during a virtual press conference on Monday.
“If you tell Saini to bowl at just one area, then you are not doing justice to his talent. Similarly, if you tell Siraj to bowl at 140, then you are not backing his strength,” he added.
Bumrah has just played 18 Tests in his career so far, but the fast bowler has already become a senior figure in the side and he was seen guiding the likes of Shardul Thakur, Siraj, and Saini in the series against Australia.
Ishant had missed the entire series against Australia, and the likes of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav had also gotten injured during the four-match series.
Earlier in the series against England, Ishant had become the third Indian pacer to take 300 wickets in Test cricket. Overall, he became the sixth Indian to do so.
“I did not know this stat that I have taken most of my wickets against England. I just focus on the plans we have for every opposition, I like sticking to them,” said Ishant.
India had achieved an emphatic 317-run win against England in the second Test of the ongoing four-match series. As a result, the series stands level at 1-1 and the Virat Kohli-led side has also reached the second spot in World Test Championship (WTC) standings.
India remains in contention to make the final of the ICC World Test Championship. The victory in Chennai on Tuesday has lifted India to the second position with 69.7 percentage points on the table but they cannot afford to lose another match as they need to win 2-1 or 3-1 to qualify for the final of the maiden edition of the championship. (ANI)

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MARCUS TRESCOTHICK NAMED AS ENGLAND’S BATTING COACH

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LONDON : Former opener Marcus Trescothick has been appointed as England’s new elite batting coach, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Monday. In the bowling department, Jon Lewis and Jeetan Patel have been named as England’s pace and spin bowling coaches respectively.

Trescothick will take up the new role in the middle of March. He will step down from his role as assistant coach at Somerset County Cricket Club. Current Young Lions head coach Lewis has been promoted to the role of Elite Pace Bowling Coach. The former England seamer has held numerous roles within the pathway set up after a successful playing career primarily with Gloucestershire but also including stints at Surrey and Sussex.

In addition, Jeetan has been appointed as a permanent elite spin bowling coach. Jeetan, the former New Zealand and Warwickshire spinner, joins the group permanently after several short-term spells working with the men’s team.

“Following an extensive recruitment process, I’m really excited about the calibre of the individuals that we’ve appointed into these specialist roles. Marcus, Jon and Jeetan have demonstrated their ability at the highest level and also show huge potential for the future. ” said England Wales and Cricket Board’s (ECB) Performance Director Mo Bobat in an official statement.

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KOHLI HAS INSTILLED A STURDY BELIEF IN TEAM, SAYS WAUGH

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Steve Waugh

MUMBAI: Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh feels India captain Virat Kohli’s “new attitude” has instilled in his team the habit of taking on every hurdle and then getting over it rather than being intimidating by the opposite team.

Waugh made these comments on his latest documentary “Capturing Cricket: Steve Waugh in India” which captures the very essence and undying love for the game in India. In the documentary, Waugh recollected his initial perception of India. “Landing in Bombay or Mumbai, as it is now, was a total culture shock, there were just people everywhere, there were cars and bikes and animals and rats and cats running along the footpath and it was just like, where am I? I am in a different world which was just a total shock and a bombardment of the senses,” Waugh said in the documentary on discovery+.

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SHARDUL HITS 92 AS MUMBAI BEAT HIMACHAL BY 200 RUNS

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Fast bowler Shardul Thakur put on a batting master-class to smash 92 runs off 57 balls — also his maiden half-century in List A cricket — in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy against Himachal Pradesh on Monday as Mumbai registered a comprehensive 200-run win.

Opening batsmen Yashasvi Jaiswal, Prithvi Shaw, and skipper Shreyas Iyer all were back in the hut inside four overs. With in-form batsmen not living up to the expectations, Shardul, who came into bat when Mumbai was 148/5, creamed six sixes and as many fours to steer his side to 321/9 in the allotted 50 overs. Shardul, who has been named in the T20I squad for the England series, hit his half-century in 39 balls and then unleashed the beast within. The pacer smashed 42 runs in his last 17 balls to power Mumbai to 321.

Suryakumar Yadav and Aditya Tare also smashed their respective half-centuries to help Mumbai go past the 300-run mark. Suryakumar recently earned his maiden call-up to the national squad and since then hasn’t left a stone unturned in proving his mettle.

Mumbai thrashed Himachal Pradesh by 200 runs to continue their unbeaten streak in the ongoing tournament. Shams Mulani picked three while Prashant Solanki scalped four wickets to wrap up an easy win for Mumbai.

Last week, Shreyas smashed 11 fours and three sixes on his way to a 103-ball 116 to power Mumbai to a total of 317 in the allotted 50 overs.

Following his not-so-good outing in Australia, Shreyas ensured he made the most of the Vijay Hazare games to get into the groove ahead of the T20I series against England.

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KOHLI & COMPANY SWEAT IT OUT IN NETS AHEAD OF FINAL TEST

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The Indian cricket team is preparing intensively for the fourth and final Test against England and leaving no stone unturned at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday shared a video on Twitter to give a glimpse of players sweating it out in the nets. In the video, India skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane can be seen batting in the nets while Rohit Sharm can be seen having a chat with head coach Ravi Shastri. The players also worked on their fielding skills, making sure the team is well-prepared in all the departments when they face the English side in the final game of the series.

In the ongoing series, Rohit, Axar Patel, and Ravichandran Ashwin have been the standout performers and now in the fourth Test, skipper Kohli would look to come to the party and end his century-drought.

Kohli had last scored a century way back in 2019 in a day-night Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens.

If India manage to win or draw the final Test against England, then the side will qualify for the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC) and the side would take on New Zealand in the summit clash.

India had managed to defeat England by ten wickets within two days in the pink-ball Test. The match saw both India and England batsmen failing to shine and getting out to balls that did not turn and skidded through from the spinners.

But critics have looked to blame the pitch for the failure of the batsmen. After the match, Rohit had clarified that he did not think the pitch had any demons. Even Kohli was vocal about the dreadful batting display from the two teams. The hosts are leading the series 2-1 and the fourth Test of the series will commence on Thursday.

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TEAM INDIA SET TO PLAY TWO INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES IN MARCH

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With the Indian Men’s National Team all set to return to international football in March, the Blue Tigers expressed their delight over the two matches being scheduled in Dubai against Oman on March 25, and UAE on March 29 respectively.

“It’s a brilliant piece of news not just for us players but for Indian Football overall that we will be playing again at the International arena,” Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu said.

“With International sports having shut down owing to the pandemic situation, I am aware as to how difficult it is to arrange matches under the current scenario. I need to thank the All India Football Federation and the coaching staff for arranging this,” he added, “Both the matches are against very tough oppositions whom we would love to play against, and test ourselves.”

Central defender Sandesh Jhingan dubbed the forthcoming two matches as “massive.”

“It’s great news which the entire nation was waiting for. It’s massive for the fans, and for us players as well as we haven’t played an international match in the last one and half years. Thanks to the AIFF for arranging this,” Jhingan stressed.

“It’s important for us to get back into the system of Igor Stimac, start training and improving. Crucial games are coming up in June which would be followed by the Qualifiers of the Asian Cup China 2023. The camp in March is just extra days to train and improve together as a team. I am extremely happy,” he averred.

Gurpreet also mentioned that as the players would be coming straight out of their club commitments in the Hero Indian Super League, it would be a “big boost.”

“The two Friendlies happening straight after the Hero Indian Super League will be a big boost. Most of the boys will be in momentum and heading straight to the National camp. That’s what the players always love – to have that continuity heading into International Football. We are all looking forward to the boys going out and giving their best.”

As part of the preparation for the two matches against Oman and UAE in March, the National Team Tigers will assemble in a preparatory camp in Dubai from March 15 onwards.

The two friendlies come on the back of the U-16 Boy’s National Team having travelled to UAE in February 2021, and the Women’s National Team’s tour to Turkey where they played matches against Serbia, Russia, and Ukraine.

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All this moaning, groaning about the pitch has to stop: Sir Vivian Richards

On English cricketers slamming the Ahmedabad wicket, the West Indian legend feels that batters need to prepare themselves for these conditions rather than complaining about the spinning conditions.

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Amid debate over the third Test pitch, West Indies great Vivian Richards slammed England for complaining about the spinning wicket and added that he wants to see a similar track in the final Test of the series.

India had managed to defeat England within two days in the pink-ball Test. The match saw both India and England batsmen failing to shine and getting out to balls that didn’t turn and skidded through from the spinners. But critics have looked to blame the pitch for the failure of the batsmen. India batsman Rohit Sharma clarified that he did not think the pitch had any demons. Even skipper Virat Kohli was vocal about the dreadful batting display from the two teams. Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also echoed the sentiments.

Further, Richards also feels that batters need to prepare themselves for these conditions rather than complaining about the spinning conditions.

“I’ve been asked questions recently about the Test match that was played in India… the second and third Test match against England. And I am a little confused about the question really because there seems to be a lot of moaning and groaning about the wicket that they were playing on. I just felt that the ones who are moaning, in my opinion, should realise that there are times that you’re going to get a seaming track, a ball that is basically jumping off a good length and everyone thinks that’s a problem for batters,” Richards said in a video posted on his Facebook page.

“But now you’ve seen the other side, and this is why I think it was given the name Test match cricket, because of the test of the mind and will and everything else that goes with it when you’re competing. And the complaints have been that the wicket is spinning too much and all that sorts of stuff. This is another side of the arc guys. People seem to forget that if you’re going to India, you should expect that. You are going to spin land.“Rather than the moaning and groaning, especially just recently how quickly that Test match was over. It gives England an opportunity and a chance to assess things, to believe that for some reason the wicket that they’re going to encounter in the fourth Test is going to be the same. If I was India or I had anything to do with the preparations of the wicket, I would bring in very much the same,” Richards added.

One of the living legends of the game Richards went on to praise the Indian side and said England should come out of their comfort zone and they have to face the spin.

“Ever since that first Test match, England were in their comfort zone. They have now been taken out of their comfort zone at present and they have got to find ways and means to cope with what they are going to encounter. Spin in all part of the game, this is what a Test match brings.,” he said.

“I just believe all the moaning and groaning has got to stop and just see the classical side of things in terms of the Indian armoury. And from where I’m sitting, it’s good to see,” the West Indian signed off.

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