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Atul Wassan



Two matches have been played in the T20I tournament so far. Team India lost the first match and won the second one, but in this format one should not be upset with the defeat and the victory should not create any misconceptions about themselves. The truth is that at this time Team India is trying all its options and it is a positive sign that whoever is getting a chance with the Indian team is doing well.

Those who got a chance to play in Australia in the previous series did well. Now debutant Ishan Kishan has shown a very good performance. This shows that all our players who are doing well in domestic cricket are fully prepared for international cricket too. Take Ishan Kishan, for example, who played fearlessly. Actually, today the players get all the opportunities from the IPL. There is no feeling of insecurity among the players. Therefore, they play without fear but they do not play for themselves. Going from the IPL to India A, they get a chance to play with the big players, from which they learn a lot. The natural performance of these players is now being seen because there is no pressure on them. They are not afraid to play with the big players.

I think it has become very difficult for Shikhar Dhawan to make a place for himself in the team. Currently, Rohit Sharma, K.L. Rahul, and Ishan Kishan are on the team. Apart from them, Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal are performing well in domestic cricket. At the same time, whether Rohit Sharma is sitting out due to his own will or is being made to sit outside is a big question.

I would say that before the T20 World Cup, if we are focusing on trying more and more options, then Virat Kohli should also sit out for at least two matches in the series.

Due to such changes in the team, Team India’s future is being prepared. We are on the perfect track.

The writer has played for the Indian cricket team as a fast bowler and is a well-known cricket expert.

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Real Madrid, City storm into UEFA Champions League semi-finals




Manchester City advanced into the Champions League semi-finals after bouncing back from one goal down to snatch a 2-1 win over Dortmund (4-2 on aggregate), courtesy of Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden second-half goals.

Both teams staged a slow start into the clash but Jude Bellingham’s well-placed opener from 15 metres on 15 minutes sparked the game to life on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

Three minutes later, Dortmund had another promising effort on target as Manuel Akanji’s header following a corner forced Manchester City’s goalkeeper Ederson into action.

City dominated the proceedings on the pitch, but the hosts were still able to take the narrow lead into the half time.

In another game, Liverpool were left to rue a host of missed chances as Real Madrid held out for a 0-0 draw at Anfield to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League 3-1 on aggregate.

Mohamed Salah and Georginio Wijnaldum were guilty of wasting glorious opportunities to get Jurgen Klopp’s men back into the tie as they failed to replicate a remarkable recovery from 3-0 down to beat Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate at the semi-final stage two years ago.

Madrid were far from their best, but did not need to be to set up a semi-final clash with Chelsea as Los Blancos extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 14 games.

Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane warned after Saturday’s 2-1 El Clasico win over Barcelona that his players were at their “physical limit” and the visitors looked jaded as they were happy to sit on their first leg lead.

UEFA is set to announce major changes to the Champions League next week but the make-up of this season’s semi-finalists confirms the extent to which elite club football in Europe has already been

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India skipper Virat Kohli has been named Wisden Almanack’s ODI cricketer of the 2010s. Kohli made more than 11,000 runs in the period, averaging over 60 and scoring 42 hundreds.

The decade began with him winning the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011, and he added a Champions Trophy title two years later, top-scoring in the final. In five global ICC 50-over tournaments in the decade, Kohli and India never fell before the semi-final stage. Apart from this, England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been named Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World in 2020. West Indian all-rounder Jason Holder, Pakistani wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan, England’s emerging stars Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley, and Kent’s 44-yr old Darren Stevens have been named as the Five Cricketers of the Year.

Australia women cricketer Beth Mooney has been awarded as the leading women cricketer. West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard was named as the leading T20I cricketer in the world.

Earlier in the year, Kohli was named as the ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade and the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade.

“My only intention was to make winning contributions for the team and I just strive to do that in every game. Stats just become the byproduct of what you want to do on the field,” Kohli had said after winning the award.

Kohli was also named the skipper of ICC’s Test Team of the Decade.

In 2019, Kohli had surpassed MS Dhoni to become India’s most successful Test skipper. After winning the Test against West Indies, Kohli had scripted his 28th Test win as captain.

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Will Dhoni’s Chennai up their ante against Punjab?





Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have their work cut out as they take on buoyant Punjab Kings in their second match of the IPL 2021 on Friday night.The MS Dhoni-led side put in a horrible performance on the field in their first match against Delhi Capitals, dropping catches and bowling too many poor deliveries.

Punjab Kings on the other hand survived a scare from Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson, who hit a century, in their first match as they held on to win the game by a slender margin of four runs even after having put up 221.

CSK have had too many ageing cricketers in their side. That apart, many of the players, including skipper MS Dhoni, haven’t played too much cricket in recent times which is why they look rusty.

On a belter of a wicket at the Wankhede Stadium, CSK’s bowling struggled for ideas. Spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali looked ineffective partly because Prithvi Shaw was dropped twice off Moeen’s bowling.

CSK’s top-order batting also needs to fire. Had it not been for Sam Curran, who hit a 15-ball 34 towards the end, CSK would have barely crossed 150.

Skipper Dhoni had said after the match that a 200-run total would be the safest considering the dew sets in later.

Dew could have been the problem for CSK in their first match and Friday’s match against PK will prove further if it was dew or plain rustiness.

PK have very few worries, especially in their batting. Deepak Hooda was pushed up the batting order, to No. 4 and he repaid the faith put in him by the team management, scoring a 28-ball 64.

With Hooda shining, the top six of the line-up looks completely packed with power. KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Hooda, Nicholas Pooran and Shahrukh Khan are batsmen who can whack the ball to a distance while Mayank Agarwal can provide the steady hand.

The only concern for PK would be the Australian pace duo Riley Meredith and Jhye Richardson, who were clobbered for runs.

One of those Aussies may have to give way to spinner Ravi Bishnoi.



• The successful comeback of Suresh Raina.

• Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, and Sam Curran.


• Flop show of openers in the previous match.

• Sam Curran and Shardul Thakur were very expensive.



• K.L. Rahul and Chris Gayle are in good touch.

• Hooda’s power-hitting.

• Mohammed Shami’s comeback boost to the team.


• Expensive buys like Riley Meredith & Jhye Richardson proved to be expensive.

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World number ten doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have been on top of their game and the duo would be expected to perform to the best of their ability in order to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

The duo was recently knocked out from the All England Open in the second round and they would next be seen in the India Open which will be played in New Delhi behind closed doors this May. India Open 2021 will be conducted behind closed doors at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi from May 11-16. The tournament, which is also an Olympic qualifier event, has attracted 228 (114 men and 114 women) entries from 33 different national associations including China.

Chirag Shetty believes that if the duo wants to return with a medal from the Olympics, then they need to have a sort-out plan B as sometimes plan A does not work out.

“We started off the year playing tournaments, we have played a pre-quarterfinal and a semi-final in the second tournament. Playing after a year, we had some good matches in Thailand, although we lost in the second match of our first tournament, we played a very close game against the world number two and also in the second tournament, we beat some really good players to make the semi-final. We would have loved to play the finals, but I think overall it was a good tournament.

“I think we would like to play a new trend of the game. If we really need to go for a shot at the medal in Olympics, we need to have a Plan B as well because we need to focus on our Plan B if our plan A is not working,” said Shetty while replying to a query.

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Morris’ cameo, Miller magic help RR beat DC

Chasing 148, the left-handed Miller came out to bat with the score at 17/3, and guided Rajasthan’s innings with a knock of 62 runs. With 27 needed off the final two overs, Morris stepped up to the occasion to take his side over the line.




Back against the ball, left-handed batsman David Miller produced a 62-run knock and it was followed by Chris Morris’ cameo of 36 runs off just 18 balls as Rajasthan Royals defeated Delhi Capitals by three wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Thursday here at the Wankhede Stadium.

Miller played a knock of 62 runs. The left-handed batter came out to bat with the score at 17/3, and he guided Rajasthan’s innings. And with 27 needed off the final two overs, Morris stepped up to the occasion to take his side over the line with two balls to spare. With this win, Rajasthan has registered their first victory in this edition of the IPL. Chasing 148, Rajasthan did not get off to an ideal start as the side lost its opening batters Manan Vohra (9) and Jos Buttler (2) in the third over of the innings. Chris Woakes provided the first two breakthroughs to Delhi. In the very next over, Kagiso Rabada dismissed Sanju Samson (4), leaving Rajasthan in a spot of bother at 17/3.

Shivam Dube and David Miller put on a 19-run stand for the fourth wicket, but Avesh Khan cut short the partnership in the eighth over as he dismissed the left-handed Dube (2). Avesh caused further trouble as he sent Riyan Parag (2) back to the pavilion, reducing Rajasthan to 42/5 in the 10th over. Rahul Tewatia then joined Miller in the middle and the partnership between these two batters saw Miller taking the mantle and accelerating the innings.

Miller and Tewatia put on 48 runs for the sixth wicket, but as soon as Rajasthan started getting on course for a win, Delhi stormed right back as Rabada sent Tewatia (19) back to the pavilion. Miller went on to register his half-century and he even dispatch Avesh for two consecutive sixes, but in looking for a third, he ended up losing his wicket in the 16th over after playing a knock of 62 runs.

With 27 needed off the final two overs, Morris first smashed Rabada for 15 runs in the penultimate over, and with 12 needed off the final over, Morris and Jaydev Unadkat managed to guide Rajasthan over the line by three wickets.

Earlier, an inspired bowling performance by Jaydev Unadkat, Chris Morris, and Mustafizur Rahman helped Rajasthan Royals restrict Delhi Capitals to 147/8. Delhi kept on losing wickets at regular intervals, and although skipper Rishabh Pant played a knock of 51, Delhi would have been hoping for a big partnership from skipper Rishabh Pant and Marcus Stoinis, but this was not to be the case as Mustafizur Rahman had Stoinis (0) fooled by a slower delivery in the seventh over, and as a result, Delhi was reduced to 37/4.

Lalit Yadav and Rishabh Pant then got together at the crease and the duo revived the innings for Delhi by stitching a partnership of 51 runs for the fifth wicket, and this saw skipper Pant going past his 50-run mark. However, as soon as Delhi’s innings started to come on track, Pant (51) was sent back to the pavilion via a run-out. Soon after, Lalit Yadav (20) was dismissed by Chris Morris, reducing Delhi to 100/6 in the 15th over. In the final overs, Tom Curran (21), Ravichandran Ashwin (7), and Chris Woakes (15*) added some crucial runs to the total and as a result, Delhi Capitals posted a total of more than the 140-run mark.

Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals 147/8 (Rishabh Pant 51, Tom Curran 21, Jaydev Unadkat 3-15); Rajasthan Royals 150/7 (David Miller 62, Chris Morris 36*, Avesh Khan 3-32).

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Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak on Wednesday was banned from all cricket for eight years after he accepted five charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.

Streak was charged as a participant under the Code by virtue of his status as the coach of Zimbabwe from 2016 to 2018 and as the coach of various domestic teams. The charges are as follows: 2.3.2 – disclosing inside information under both the ICC Code and various domestic Codes, in circumstances where he knew or should have known that such information may be used for betting purposes. In particular, he disclosed inside information in relation to matches in the 2018 Tri-Series involving Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, the Zimbabwe versus Afghanistan series in 2018, the IPL 2018, and the APL 2018.

2.3.3 – directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, persuading, encouraging, or intentionally facilitating any participant to breach the Code. In particular, he facilitated or attempted to facilitate the introduction of four different players, including a national captain, to someone he knew, or should have known, may have wanted to approach them to provide inside information for betting purposes.

Under the provisions of the Code, Streak chose to admit the charges and agreed with the sanction with the ICC in lieu of an Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing. He will be free to resume his involvement in the game on March 28, 2029.

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