It will turn from day one: Rahane on pitch for second Test against England - The Daily Guardian
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It will turn from day one: Rahane on pitch for second Test against England

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 12 (ANI): The wicket during the first Test against England did not offer much assistance to the spinners but India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is sure that pitch will offer turn right from day one of the second Test, which gets underway from Saturday.
England defeated India by 227 runs in the first Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday. England’s winning start against India in their ICC World Test Championship series has kept alive the visiting side’s hopes of making the final of the nine-team competition.
Rahane on Friday said the team will have to wait and watch how the pitch behaves in the first session. The right-handed batsman wants to forget the loss in the first Test start afresh when India take on England on Saturday.
“[The pitch] Looks completely different, I am sure it will turn from day one. We will have to wait and see how it behaves in the first session and take it from there. We have to forget what happened in the first Test and focus on this and play good cricket,” said Rahane during the virtual press conference.
“And we know these conditions really well. We have to put our best foot forward tomorrow and play as a team. I thought our spinners bowled well in the 1st Test. If you see the second innings, especially Ashwin bowled really well, there is not much concern over their performance,” he added.
Rahane played some crucial knocks during the Australia tour but his recent outing with the bat has raised eyebrows about his form. The right-handed batsman scored one run in the first innings against England and was not able to get off the mark in the second essay.
“We are playing at home after two years. It’s all about the team, not about any individual. If you look at my last 10-15 Tests, you will find some runs there,” said Rahane.
The victory at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday lifted England to first place and 70.2 percentage points on the points table and they have improved their chances of securing one of the three series results in their favour that could see them through to the final – 3-1, 3-0 or 4-0.
New Zealand has already qualified for the final winning 70.0 per cent of their matches (with no other series scheduled) while India and Australia remain in contention for the other place along with England.
India, who have slipped to the fourth position with 68.3 percentage points, cannot afford another loss in the four-match series and will be looking to win at least two of the remaining three matches to secure a 2-1 or 3-1 result and a place in the final. (ANI)

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I accidentally became a cricketer, living my dream: Ashwin

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has revealed that his planning before a game goes to a “different level” and he watches a lot of footage before a match to leave no stone unturned with regard to his preparations.
Ashwin also revealed that during the Australia tour, before the Adelaide Test, he watched footage for eight straight hours and watching all these videos have helped him have a better understanding of the game and even before bowling the ball, he kind of understands what shot the batsman is going to play.
“In Australia, before the Adelaide Test, I watched footage for eight straight hours. Planning for me goes to a different level. I do not know why I started doing it but it’s just that I do not want to leave any stone unturned. I used to watch a lot of footage even before but I think the understanding of the game has gone one notch higher,” Ashwin told India fielding coach R Sridhar in a video posted on BCCI’s website.
“What happened during the lockdown was that I was watching a lot of cricket from the past, like Sachin’s (Tendulkar) hundred at Chepauk and all kinds of stuff on Youtube. And I started picking up fine queues and think why haven’t I picked all these things and figured all these things and it just struck me. After that, I started watching footage differently and once I started watching, it became fun because I am able to pick batsmen like what they are doing and even before I bowl the ball, I kind of understand what kind of shot they are going to play,” he added.
Riding on brilliant spells of spin bowling from Axar and Ashwin, India registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the pink-ball Test here at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday to go 2-1 up in the four-match series.
During the match, Ashwin reached a major milestone of 400 Test wickets. Reflecting on the same, he said: “Initial feeling? It was quite empty to be honest because we were under immense pressure today. We only got a 30-run lead and the game was in the balance. I was in the moment, and only after we took the DRS, I realised the 400-wicket feat. After they flashed the 400 wickets on the board, the entire stadium was up and everyone was clapping. I cannot put my finger and say (exactly) how I feel.”
Ashwin said he is a cricket lover who actually went on to become a cricketer. “I accidentally became a cricketer. I am a cricket lover who actually went on to become a cricketer. I am living my dream here. I never imagined I will wear the Indian jersey and play. For someone who loves the game so much, what better it can be to come and play the game,” he said.
“Every time I finish playing a game and if I get that winning result for the team, I just feel like I have been given a blessing. The COVID-19 (pandemic) times made me feel how lucky I am to actually play for India. Even when I came back from the IPL, I never thought I will play in Australia. That is why I said everything has been a gift, for the love with which I play, I think the game is giving me back,” the spinner added.
Sridhar told Ashwin that it seems like “you are giving MS Dhoni a run for his money” in terms of the collection of stumps.
“I think MS has a lot more than I do. For a large part of my early career, I have not been very good at all this. Now I cherish every moment. It has been very special and I have been collecting stumps,” Ashwin replied. (ANI)

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Yusuf Pathan announces retirement from all forms of cricket

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Baroda (Gujarat) [India], February 26 (ANI): All-rounder Yusuf Pathan on Friday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
“I still remember the day when I wore the India jersey for the first time. I didn’t only wear the jersey that day, but I took upon my family’s, coach’s, friends’, the whole country’s and my own expectations on my shoulders as well. Since my childhood, my life has revolved only around Cricket. I played at the international level, domestic level, and in the IPL in my career,” said Yusuf Pathan in a statement on Twitter.
“But today is a bit different. There is no World Cup or IPL final today but it is equally important. The time has come today for me to put a full stop to this innings of my life. I officially announce retirement from all forms of the game. I thank my family, friends, fans, teams, coaches, and the whole country wholeheartedly for all the support and love. I am sure you will continue to encourage me in the future as well,” he added.
Yusuf Pathan was a part of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning squad and the 2011 50-over World Cup squad. The all-rounder had played the finals of the 2007 T20 World Cup against Pakistan and he had famously struck a six off Mohammad Asif in the very first over of the final.
In the finals of the 2011 World Cup, Yusuf had lifted Sachin Tendulkar on his shoulders as the hosts defeated Sri Lanka in the final at the Wankhede Stadium to lift their second 50-over World Cup title.
“Winning two World Cups for India and lifting Sachin Tendulkar on my shoulders were some of the best moments of my career. I made my international debut under MS Dhoni, IPL debut under Shane Warne, Ranji debut under Jacob Martin, and would like to thank them for believing in me. I thank Gautam Gambhir with whom, at KKR, we won the IPL trophy twice. I would also like to thank my brother and backbone Irfan Pathan who was always there for me during the highs and lows of my career. Last but not the least, I would like to thank the BCCI & BCA for giving me the opportunity to play for my country and state,” said Pathan.
Yusuf had also won the Indian Premier League titles with Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders. Rajasthan Royals had won the tournament in 2008 while KKR won the tournament twice in 2012 and 2014.
The 38-year-old played 57 ODIs, 22 T20Is for India, managing to score 1,046 runs across both formats. He also went on to take 46 wickets combined in both formats. He last played a game for the country on March 30, 2012, against South Africa in a T20I at Johannesburg. (ANI)

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Have always dreamt of playing under Kohli: Suryakumar

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 26 (ANI): Batsman Suryakumar Yadav has revealed that he started crying after seeing his name in the T20 squad for the upcoming five-match series against England and the right-handed batter also said that he has always dreamt of playing under Virat Kohli.
Last week, Suryakumar Yadav earned his maiden call-up into the Indian squad along with the likes of Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tewatia.
“I was very excited as I got to know about the selection. I was sitting in the room, trying to watch a movie, and got a notification on the phone that I was picked in the Indian team for England T20Is. I started crying after seeing my name in the team. I called my parents, my wife, and my sister. We had a video call and all of us started crying,” the official website of BCCI quoted Suryakumar as saying.
“Along with me, they have also been trying to live this dream for a long time. It has been a very long journey and they are the ones who have stood by me throughout. It was really great to see them happy and have those tears of happiness. Everyone wants to play for India. But finally, my time has come,” he added.
When asked about playing under skipper Virat Kohli, Suryakumar replied: “Firstly, I am looking forward to spending some quality time with the team and soaking in the atmosphere when I reach Ahmedabad. I have always dreamt of playing under Virat Kohli for a long time and I am excited to go and learn a lot from Virat as quickly as I can so that I can be a better player.
“I have played against him in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the way he reflects his energy on the field even after achieving so much for India is remarkable. I have seen him on the field keeping himself charged all the time. His want-to-win attitude is something to learn.”
Suryakumar Yadav shares the dressing room with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, and Krunal Pandya at Mumbai Indians. Talking about his experience of playing at Mumbai, the batsman revealed that he has learnt a lot about Virat from the likes of Hardik.
“Over the years, playing with the Mumbai Indians, I have got to learn and know so much about Virat from Hardik Pandya as well. Whenever we have been together, I have asked Hardik what Virat does differently during the practice sessions that he is the best on the ground. Hardik has also told me that Virat practices differently, the energy he has in the practice sessions — be it batting or fielding — is completely different and he is the same on the ground. So, these are some of the things that I want to learn from him which makes him the best,” said Surya.
When asked about Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar said: “I still remember the time when I was batting with Rohit Sharma during my Ranji Trophy debut. When I walked out to bat, there were a lot of butterflies in my stomach. He just came up to me and said, mate, just keep things very simple. You have worked very hard to reach here. You just have to go out and express yourself. Think about nothing. Just express yourself.
“It is amazing to see that his approach towards the game or his batting or his advice to the young crop has still not changed. Even today, he tells me the same thing. His presence has really helped me a lot. Having played under Rohit, I have learnt many things about him and his game, how he keeps things very simple, and his astute understanding of the game,” he added.
The five-match T20I series between India and England is set to begin on March 12. All five matches will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. (ANI)

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Cricket a very small thing and life of our soldiers more important: Gambhir on ties with Pakistan

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By Nitin Srivastava
New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): Former India opener and BJP MP Gautam Gambhir on Friday said that there should not be any relation with Pakistan till cross-border terrorism gets over.
Global terror financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Thursday retained Pakistan on its “grey list” till June after concluding that Islamabad failed to address its strategically important deficiencies, to fully implement the 27-point action plan that the watchdog had drawn up for Pakistan.
“Till the time cross border terrorism does not get over, I don’t think there should be any kind of relationship with Pakistan because the life of our soldiers is more important than anything,” Gambhir told ANI.
When asked about the sporting ties with the neighboring country, Gambhir reiterated that the “life of our soldiers is more important” and said: “Cricket is a very small thing and the life of our soldiers is more important. So, till the time cross-border terrorism does not get over, there should not be any relationship with Pakistan.”
Riding on brilliant spells of spin bowling from Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, India registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the pink-ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday to go 2-1 up in the four-match series.
Some former cricketers like Michael Vaughan had criticised the pitch. “Let’s be honest this is not a 5 day Test pitch !! #INDvENG,” Vaughan had tweeted.
When asked about the Motera pitch, Gambhir said: “It is a matter for ICC to look into. I do not want to comment on that. I think England batsmen should look at their techniques.” (ANI)

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Delhi will host Vijay Hazare Trophy knockouts: DDCA director Sanjay Bhardwaj

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): Delhi will be hosting the knockout matches of the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy, Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) director Sanjay Bhardwaj confirmed on Friday.
Earlier, the BCCI had not revealed the venue for the knockouts of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, but now it has been revealed that Delhi would be hosting the games both at the Arun Jaitley Stadium and the Palam Ground.
“Yes, Delhi would be hosting the knockout matches of the Vijay Hazare Trophy. The matches will be played at the Kotla and in Palam,” Bhardwaj told ANI.
As a result, Delhi will now host eight knockout games of the Vijay Hazare Trophy: one eliminator, four quarter-finals, two semi-finals and the final. The knockouts are set to begin from March 7. The final of the tournament would be played on March 14.
The ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy has witnessed compelling action as Mumbai had registered the highest score in the history of the tournament on Thursday. Mumbai scored a mammoth 457/4 with Prithvi Shaw scoring 227 runs — the highest ever individual score in the history of the tournament.
Earlier, Ishan Kishan of Jharkhand had scored 173 runs in the ongoing edition of the tournament. Vijay Hazare Trophy had begun from March 20 and the teams were divided into six groups. (ANI)

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Jordan Henderson undergoes surgery on groin injury

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Liverpool [UK], February 26 (ANI): Liverpool on Friday announced that Jordan Henderson has undergone an operation after suffering a groin injury during the club’s Premier League clash against Everton. The captain was withdrawn after half an hour of the match on February 20 as he was unable to continue.
“Liverpool can confirm Jordan Henderson has undergone an operation on the injury he sustained during last weekend’s Merseyside derby with Everton,” the club said in a statement.
“…Following further assessment with the club’s medical team, Henderson has successfully had a corrective procedure carried out on the adductor injury. He will begin a rehabilitation programme immediately,” the statement added.
The club said although no specific timescale has been being placed upon his return, the 30-year-old is ruled out initially until after the March international break.
“Henderson’s recovery will be closely monitored by the club’s medical department and his progression during his rehab work will determine when he is able to resume full training,” the statement concluded.
Liverpool is currently placed on the sixth spot on the Premier League table with 40 points, 19 points behind the table-toppers. The team will next play against Sheffield United on March 1. (ANI)

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