By Baidurjo Bhose
New Delhi [India], March 19 (ANI): After a slow start, India Legends skipper Sachin Tendulkar has hit fifth gear going into the business end of the ongoing Road Safety World Series in Raipur. While he hit a 37-ball 60 in the last group-stage game against South Africa Legends, he smashed a 42-ball 65 in the semi-final against West Indies. But the maestro says it has not been easy returning to the crease as the body refuses to listen to the heart at times.
Speaking to ANI, Tendulkar threw light on the highly-competitive action in the tournament, the message he wants to pass to the citizens when it comes to maintaining road safety and his take on the ever-present debate on whether experienced or youngsters should be backed to play for the country.
Videos have surfaced of Tendulkar undergoing sessions with the team physios as he plies his trade for India Legends in the Road Safety World Series and the Master Blaster makes no bones about the fact that the body is not getting any younger. But he does wish to thank the physios for preparing him for matches.
“Body, it has not been easy. Even before, I got here to participate in the tournament, while preparing, I hurt my back and that kept me out for about 10 days before I could get back to it very slowly. We have two physios Vaibhav Daga and Saif. Both have really helped because I have had problems, the back problems and knee. The forearms also went into spasm, needed needles to relax them. Those kind of things are continuing to happen, that are part and parcel. Number of players are having niggles and injuries here and there, but they are happy to be here for a good cause,” he smiled.
Road safety is a cause very close to Tendulkar’s heart and the legend says that the reaction from the people has been nothing short of excellent and he wishes for people to show more patience while on the road and try and avoid taking rash calls whether while riding a bike or driving a car.
“We are here for a cause and people are taking notice of what we are looking to do. The reaction has been very good, the crowds have responded brilliantly. I have always said this that when people react this way then it’s the best tonic for any athlete. The appreciation transpires into making something special on the field.
“It has actually happened because a number of legends go out there and play some spectacular cricket. People are enjoying, and it gives all of us an opportunity to relive those moments. Earlier, when we played actively, it just allowed us to do that. Here, I would want to thank the six teams for taking the time out to spread this message, this is important,” he pointed.
Elaborating further on the need to be safe on the road, Tendulkar said: “Every four minutes we are losing lives in India. While people are riding two-wheelers, 50 per cent of the accidents are happening in the age group of 18-35 because of not wearing helmets. You know number of lives are lost because we are not doing the basic things. Pillions riders don’t wear helmets. The drivers and passengers choose not to wear seat belts when driving a car.
“Life is precious, one cannot because of carelessness, put life in danger or someone else’s life in danger. That’s why I feel patience is required. When we were small, we would have piggybanks where we would collect our pocket money and save. Similarly, if we show little bit of patience every day and allow elderly people to cross roads, honk less and do these little things, that is a piggybank of blessings. Every time you are helping visually impaired or elders to cross the road, you are earning blessings and all you have to do is stop for five seconds. These small things can really change our mindset, it is really important that we decide to every day fill our piggybank with blessings.”
Any talk with Tendulkar is incomplete without discussing Indian cricket and with the T20 World Cup coming up later in the year, debates have once again started on whether youngsters should be given a go with an eye on the showpiece event. The maestro feels that selectors must pick the best XI irrespective of age.
“One thing I would like to clarify here is that it is not just about picking youngsters. It is about picking capable players, you are talking about the Indian cricket team, age should not be criteria. It is about what you are able to deliver and that is what matters, not age. If somebody is able to perform and may not be a young cricketer, but if you are able to perform you should be playing for India.
“Talking about youngsters, if you are able to perform then he rightfully deserves it. But if he is not able to perform, then maybe there are options you can look at. It is just not about age, it is a misconception that you should promote youngsters. I feel we should be picking our best 11. We should be picking our best 14-15 member squad and the best balance is known to the selection committee and it should be left to them,” he pointed.
Two guys who have managed to impress in the ongoing T20I series against England are Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. Tendulkar believes playing top-quality bowlers in the Indian Premier League has readied the youngsters for the tough challenges on the international stage.
“As far as Suryakumar and Ishan are concerned, they both have done really well, they have not looked out of place at all and there is a reason for that. They played against all these guys a number of times. Yesterday, one of the commentators said that Surya has played against Archer and Stokes like as good as playing against Rajasthan Royals.
“For us, when I went to Pakistan and Australia, I was playing all those bowlers for the first time and that was at international level, so here the beauty is that they have played against top bowlers in the IPL and then playing against them for India, it is a big difference, you know what to expect from them and that is what has happened. That is the beauty of our structure and we can noticeably see that our bench strength is really good,” he explained. (ANI)
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Shafali, Yastika, Sneh shine as India end Australia’s unbeaten 26-match run in ODIs
Yastika Bhatia and Shafali Verma played knocks of 64 and 56 respectively as India defeated Australia by two wickets in the third and final ODI here at the Harrup Park on Sunday.
With this defeat, Australia’s unbeaten 26-match run in ODI cricket came to an end. However, the hosts won the three-match ODI series by 2-1. Chasing 265, India got off to a steady start as opening batters Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma put on 59 runs for the opening wicket. However, the stand did not last long as Ashleigh Gardner dismissed Mandhana (22) in the 11th over. Yastika Bhatia next joined Shafali in the middle and the duo did not let the momentum drop for the visitors.
Yastika was the aggressor of the two, while Shafali played the second fiddle. Both batters brought up their respective half-centuries as India was poised well in their chase at 153/1 by the end of the 28th over. A 101-run stand for the second wicket came to an end in the 30th over as Sophie Molineux bowled Shafali (56).
Richa Ghosh (0) and Bhatia (64) fell shortly after and India was reduced to 180/4, still needing 85 runs to win from 96 balls. Mithali Raj (16) and Pooja Vastrakar (3) departed in quick succession, and the hopes of India’s victory rested on Deepti Sharma and Sneh Rana’s shoulders.
Deepti was sent back to the pavilion after playing a knock of 31 runs, but Sneh Rana kept India in the game. However, the right-hander was dismissed in the penultimate over after playing a knock of 30 runs and India needed 4 runs from the final over to register a win. Jhulan Goswami (8*) showed her experience to finally take the visitors over the line.
Earlier, Ashleigh Gardner and Beth Mooney played knocks of 67 and 52 respectively as Australia posted a total of 264/9. Opting to bat, opening batters Rachael Haynes and Alyssa Healy put on 41 runs for the opening wicket, but this stand was broken in the ninth over as Jhulan Goswami dismissed Haynes (13). Indian bowlers then managed to get on top of Australia as Meg Lanning (0), Healy (35), and Ellyse Perry (26) departed in a matter of few overs and the hosts were reduced to 87/4 in the 25th over.
OUR BATSMEN PLAYED REALLY WELL ON A DIFFICULT WICKET AGAINST RR: DC PACER NORTJE
The Delhi Capitals registered yet another victory in the IPL 2021 season after defeating the Rajasthan Royals by 33 runs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Shreyas Iyer played a fantastic knock of 43 runs off 32 balls to help the Delhi franchise post a total of 154/6 before each of the bowlers chipped in wickets to help their team reclaim their position at the top of the IPL table. Delhi Capitals’ fast bowler Anrich Nortje, who picked up figures of 2/18, expressed that the batsmen performed very well on a difficult wicket, “It was a good game for us. The guys batted really well to get us to 154/6 on a difficult wicket. Shreyas played his part and Hetmyer played well towards the end of the innings, which was really nice to see,” he said in a DC release.
The fast bowler added that the batsmen also gave good insights about the pitch to the bowlers before they went out to defend their total, “The batsmen gave us good feedback about the wicket. Shreyas said that it was not easy to hit straight. So we just looked to hit our lengths while bowling and things worked out for us.”
When asked about his thoughts on bowling with the current crop of Delhi Capitals bowlers, Nortje said, “It’s really nice to be part of the Delhi Capitals bowling attack. Everyone knows what they have to do and how to execute it. All bowlers, whether it’s Axar, Ashwin, Avesh or Rabada, everyone is clear about their roles. We’ve got two consecutive games in Sharjah next. So interesting times coming up for us.”
The Delhi Capitals will take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in their next match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on Tuesday.
JADEJA’S BLITZKRIEG TAKES CSK HOME AGAINST KKR IN A CLIFFHANGER
Ravindra Jadeja single-handedly took the game away from Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their Indian Premier League encounter at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Sunday after he scored 22 runs off the 19th over as Prasidh Krishna looked on haplessly.
The two-wicket win sees Chennai Super Kings (CSK) return to the top of the table. Needing 26 off the last two, CSK took two singles of the first two balls off Prasidh’s over before Jadeja went berserk. He hit a six over the long leg, followed it with a straight six, then a square drive for a boundary and then one at third man. By the time the 19th over ended, CSK needed just 4 more runs to make it three consecutive wins.
While Narine did pick two wickets in the 20th over — Sam Curran and Jadeja — but it just wasn’t enough at the end of the day as Jadeja had already done the damage in the previous over. In the end, he finished with 22 off 8 balls.
For CSK, Faf du Plessis top-scored with 43 followed by Ruturaj Gaikwad 40 and Moeen Ali 32. Sunil Narine scalped three wickets while Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell returned with one each.
Chasing the target of 172, Chennai Super Kings openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis provided a perfect start for the team as the duo put 74 run stand for the first wicket.
But then a breakthrough came for KKR when Russell scalped Ruturaj Gaikwad in 8.2 over. After Ruturaj’s departure, Moeen Ali smashed Ferguson and Russell in the 10th and 11th over. Ali and du Plessis were going great as the duo built 28 runs stand for the second wicket, but then CSK lost their second wicket in the form of du Plessis caught by Ferguson and bowled by Prasidh Krishna in 11.3 over at 44 off 30 with 7 fours.
With 2 wickets down CSK now needed 61 runs in 43 balls. However, Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu further shaped the innings for CSK as both played sensibly. But then CSK received another blow when Sunil Narine bowled Ambati Rayudu.
After Rayudu Suresh Raina came in and in the very first ball he smashed Narine for four. In 15th over 12 runs came for CSK. CSK lost its 4th wicket in form of Moeen Ali in the 17th over bowled by Ferguson at 32. In the very next over Suresh Raina was run out. Dhoni soon followed him in the same over.
With CSK needing 26 off the last two, Jadeja took matters into his own hands and helped his team across the victory line.
Earlier, Rahul Tripathi’s gutsy knock and Nitish Rana’s quickfire helped Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) post a total of 171/6 in their allotted 20 overs against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). For KKR Rahul Tripathi top-scored 45 while Nitish Rana scored 37. Shardul Thakur and Josh Hazlewood scalped two wickets each while Ravindra Jadeja returned with one wicket.
Chennai Super Kings got an early breakthrough after Kolkata Knight Riders opener Shubman Gill was run out by Ambati Rayudu in the very first over. Gill’s innings ended for 9 off 5 with 2 fours.
IGOR STIMAC NAMES 23 PLAYERS FOR SAFF CHAMPIONSHIP
Indian men’s football team head coach Igor Stimac has named a list of 23 players for the forthcoming SAFF Championship which kicks off in the Maldives from October 1 onwards. The final of the championship is slated for October 16.
The players and the support staff will assemble in Bengaluru tomorrow (Monday, September 27), and will fly out to the Maldives the next day. Stimac, and other members of the technical staff will join the squad directly in Maldives on the same day.
Besides India – Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and hosts Maldives are the other teams in the Championship. Each team will play each other once with the top two teams qualifying for the final.
Head Coach Igor Stimac stated: “We are all looking forward to the SAFF Championship as the leading football country in this part of Asia. These 4-5 games are extremely crucial for us as we won’t have any other chance of getting together before the start of 3rd round AFC Asian Cup qualifiers next season. So these matches should help us to improve a few points in our game.”
The Blue Tigers have won the SAFF Championship (formerly SAARC Cup) 7 times – 1993 in Lahore, 1997 in Kathmandu, 1999 in Margao, 2005 in Karachi, 2009 (U23 squad) in Dhaka, 2011 in New Delhi), 2015-16 in Thiruvananthapuram.
India begins their campaign against Bangladesh on October 4.
Harshal, Maxwell help Kohli’s Red Brigade beat MI by 54 runs
Glen Maxwell and Virat Kohli starred with the bat as Royal Challengers Bangalore posted a score of 165/6 on the board.
Hat-trick hero Harshal Patel, and Glen Maxwell handed Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) a comprehensive victory by 54 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter against Mumbai Indians (MI) here at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
Harshal Patel (4-17) starred with the ball for RCB as the 30-year-old dismissed Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Rahul Chahar on three consecutive deliveries in the 17th over to turn the tide in favour of Virat Kohli-led side. For RCB, Glen Maxwell was another hero in the match as after scoring a half-century (56), the Australian followed it by scalping two crucial wickets with the ball in hand. RCB skipper Virat Kohli also scored a half-century in the match.
Chasing the target of 166, Mumbai Indians had a brilliant start as their openers Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma frustrated RCB’ bowlers throughout the first powerplay.
The duo gathered 56 runs after the 6 overs in the match. Yuzvendra Chahal provided the much-needed breakthrough for the RCB in the seventh over as he sent Quinton de Kock back to the pavilion at the score of 24. With spinners on both ends, MI felt the heat in the middle overs. Glen Maxwell struck for RCB in the 10th over as he removed dangerous-looking MI captain Rohit Sharma. Sharma walked back after scoring 43 off 28 balls. In the very next over, Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed Ishan Kishan after MI batter mistimed a slog.
With runs in scarcity, wickets kept falling for MI as Glenn Maxwell struck again in the 14th over. The Australian all-rounder clean bowled Krunal Pandya for 5 off 11 balls. Mohammed Siraj joined the wicket-taking pack in the 15th over after he sent back Suryakumar Yadav (8 off 9) to the pavilion. Harshal Patel dusted all hopes for MI in the 17th over of the match after he took an incredible hattrick.
Patel removed Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Rahul Chahar for his hat-trick as defending champions suffered a stunning collapse. Yuzvendra Chahal clinched his third of the match in the next over. Patel then removed Adam Milne in the penultimate over to wrap up MI’s innings. Earlier, Glen Maxwell and Virat Kohli starred with the bat as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) posted a score of 165/6.
For RCB, Glen Maxwell and Virat Kohli played innings of 56 and 51 respectively. K.S Bharat also played a crucial knock of 32 for the team in red. Jasprit Bumrah scalped three wickets while Trent Boult, Adam Milne, and Rahul Chahar returned with one wicket each for Mumbai Indians. Put in to bat first, RCB had a decent start as they end up scoring 48 runs in the first six overs with the loss of one wicket. Jasprit Bumrah got the wicket of Devdutt Padikkal in the powerplay while bowling the second over. RCB batter edged to Quinton de Kock.
Virat Kohli along with K.S Bharat strengthen RCB innings as the duo soon raced towards 51 run partnership in 31 balls. Rahul Chahar provided the much-needed breakthrough for MI in the 9th over as Bharat walked back for 32 off 25 after getting caught at deep cover.
Glen Maxwell then joined the RCB skipper on the pitch and the duo stabilised the innings of the team in red. Virat Kohli continued with his carnage and brought up his second consecutive IPL half-century in the 15th over of the innings. But the RCB skipper was not able to profit from the good start as he walked back to the pavilion in the very next over after getting caught on deep. Adam Milne sent Kohli to the dressing room after a fine inning of 51 off 42 balls.
Maxwell then scored his fifty in the 18th over of the match – off just 33 balls -which included three sixes. Bumrah who was bowling penultimate over removed dangerous-looking Glen Maxwell and AB de Villiers on two consecutive deliveries. Glenn Maxwell returned to the pavilion after scoring 56 off 37 balls.
MESSI WAS ‘TYRANT’ DURING TRAINING, SAYS BARCA COACH RONALD KOEMAN
Barca coach Ronald Koeman has said Lionel Messi was like “a tyrant” during training at Barcelona.
The Argentina star raised the bar at the Camp Nou club as he developed into one of the greatest to ever play the game before departing to join Paris Saint-Germain this year. “Lionel Messi has obscured everything. He was so good and he won,” Koeman told Voetbal International, as reported by goal.com.
“Of course he had good players around him, but he made the difference. Everyone seems better than they are because of him. This is not a criticism, but an observation,” said the Barcelona coach.
Koeman, who worked with the Argentina star for a year before Messi left the club for Paris Saint-Germain said, “I knew how good he is, but it’s still nice to see it up close every day. Everything you would like to teach a football player, in recognising situations, in taking the ball under pressure, in ball speed, in finishing; with Messi everything is a 10 Not normal, not normal!
“When we did a finishing practice during training, there were sometimes players who started to hit easy balls, a bit of fooling around. But with Messi everything was: boom, boom, boom, boom. Never frills, everything functional. And always wanted to win everything.”
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